Friday, September 17, 2021

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NSCS: Denny Hamlin wins pole for Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix

If you’re going to make it to the final round of the Chase for the Championship, you might as well do it in style.

That’s what Denny Hamlin is trying to do as he scored the pole for the Quickens Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Speedway. Hamlin’s lap of 25.332 seconds earned him his 20th career pole and third pole of the 2014 season. Hamlin enters this weekend tied with Joey Logano at the top of the standings, 13 points to the good of moving forward to Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Brad Keselowski, who is trying to put last weekend’s fight behind him, would qualify second for his 27th top-10 start of the season. Keselowski got into a fight with Jeff Gordon post-race following contact during the late stages of the event. Keselowski is looking for a good run this weekend, sitting 17 points out of the lead, four points out of the Chase.

Kevin Harvick, who played a role in the scuffle at Texas, would qualify third for his 24th top-10 start of the season. Harvick pushed Keselowski in the ring of the fight, telling him that “he should fight his own fight” rather than let his pit crew handle Gordon. Harvick currently sits eighth in points, 18 points out of the lead, five points out of the Chase.

Joey Logano would qualify fourth after setting a new track record in the first round with a lap of 25.327 seconds, with Matt Kenseth rounding out the top-five. Kenseth comes into this weekend sitting fifth in points, 13 points behind Logano, one point out of the Chase.

Kyle Busch qualified sixth, followed by Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Brian Vickers and Kurt Busch. Gordon currently sits fourth in points, one point to the good of making it to the final round of the Chase for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The rest of the Chasers would qualify:

  • Carl Edwards: 13th
  • Ryan Newman: 20th

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