Sports

Denny Hamlin leads Chase drivers by winning pole at Phoenix for critical championship race

  • Denny Hamlin poses for photos after winning the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

    Denny Hamlin poses for photos after winning the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)  (The Associated Press)

  • Denny Hamlin practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

    Denny Hamlin practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)  (The Associated Press)

Denny Hamlin has won the pole Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, where eight drivers go into the race Sunday vying for the four spots in the championship finale.

Hamlin turned a lap at 142113 mph to put his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the top starting spot. He was followed by Chase drivers Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.

Harvick shoved Keselowski from behind into a scrum following last week's race at Texas. It ignited a brawl between Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and their teams and both drivers were bloodied.

Joey Logano was fourth, followed by GR drivers Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The top five drivers are all racing for the championship.

Gordon was seventh.

The lowest two qualifying Chase drivers were Carl Edwards in 13th and Ryan Newman in 20th.