Denny Hamlin Wins Coors Light Pole at Miami
Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 was the final car to take the track during Coors Light Pole qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway — and it was also the fastest.
Hamlin propelled his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 173.980 mph to take the top starting position from playoffs driver Martin Truex Jr., who secured the second spot with a fast lap of 173.952 mph in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 season finale (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Fellow Championship 4 contender Kyle Busch was third-fastest, his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota notching a top speed of 173.930 mph. Busch’s JGR teammate Matt Kenseth, making perhaps his final full-time start on Sunday in the Monster Energy Series, qualified fourth.
After finishing 21st in opening practice, Brad Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe put together a fifth-place qualifying run (172.452 mph) in the final round.
Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch finished 1-2, respectively, in the opening rounds of qualifying.
Barely missing the second round of qualifying was Danica Patrick (25th), who announced Friday that this year will be her final season as a full-time driver in NASCAR. Patrick will run the 2018 Daytona 500 and IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will be making his final full-time start in the Monster Energy Series on Sunday, will start the Ford EcoBoost 400 from the rear after the team changed the engine in his No. 88 Chevrolet following a sputtering incident in opening practice. Earnhardt Jr. and the team made the second round of qualifying, but elected not to run past the first round in order to preserve tires for the race.
The Monster Energy Series is back on track at Miami on Saturday for practice at 10 a.m. ET (CNBC).