By AMANDA VINCENT
Denny Hamlin will start the five-segment, 110-lap NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night from the pole with the top combined speed from three laps on-track and a four-tire pit stop (111.227 seconds/145.648 mph) during a qualifying session just prior to the race.
“Feels pretty awesome. Proud of this effort. I’ve never been any good at this at all,” Hamlin said. “I think our car’s pretty good. I think out front, it can do anything.”
Hamlin will share the front row with Greg Biffle, who advanced to the All-Star Race by winning the first of two 20-lap segments in the Sprint Showdown Friday night, also at Charlotte.
Three drivers, including Biffle, advanced to the main event after competing in Friday night’s Showdown, with the other two being Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick. Bowyer was first in the second segment of the 40-lap Sprint Showdown, while Patrick got into the All-Star Race by becoming the first driver to repeat as the Sprint Fan Vote winner. She finished ninth in the Sprint Showdown.
Bowyer also qualified in the top-five on Saturday, taking the fourth spot on the All-Star starting grid. Patrick will start just outside the top-five in sixth.
The complete top-five of the starting order consists of Hamlin, Biffle, Brad Keselowski, Bowyer and Kasey Kahne.
Both Kahne and Keselowski spent time on the provisional pole before Hamlin made his qualifying run. Kahne was at the top of the scoring pylon for a time after an unconventional pit stop that saw his crew service the left side of his car first.
The Sprint All-Star Race field consists of 20 cars/drivers. The seventh through 20th starters are as follows: 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8. Aric Almirola, 9. Jeff Gordon, 10. Carl Edwards, 11. Joey Logano, 12. Jimmie Johnson, 13. A.J. Allmendinger, 14. Jamie McMurray, 15. Tony Stewart, 16. Kurt Busch, 17. Matt Kenseth, 18. Ryan Newman, 19. Kyle Busch, 20. Kevin Harvick.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner