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CUP: Hamlin Takes Monster Mile Pole

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Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway, as all three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas qualified in the top four.

Hamlin, who is fighting to get back in championship contention after missing four races with a broken vertebra, posted a lap of 157.978 miles per hour in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

The pole was Hamlin’s 15th in 268 career NASCAR Sprint Cup starts and his second in a row after being the top qualifier for last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Qualifying right behind Hamlin was another Toyota, the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing entry driven by Martin Truex Jr., who ran a lap of 157.798 mph.

Next were Hamlin’s two JGR teammates, Kyle Busch at 157.756 mph, and Matt Kenseth at 157.736 mph.

Hamlin was sweating the run by Busch, the 43rd and final driver to go out. “He made it interesting for us,” Hamlin said of Busch. “… Lucky for us, we’re P1.”

Ryan Newman completed the top five in a Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, the first non-Toyota in the group.

The second five was Mark Martin, Coca-Cola 600 winner Kevin Harvick, Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, and Jamie McMurray.

Among other notables, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 12th, seven-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson qualified 24th and Danica Patrick was 39th.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.