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Brickyard 400 Qualifying: Denny Hamlin Claims First Indianapolis Pole

In a highlight of his six-plus seasons of Sprint Cup racing, Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will lead the field to the green flag in the 19th running of the 160-lap trip around the venerable old Speedway.

Carl Edwards will start second in his first race with Chad Norris as his crew chief. Joey Logano, Aric Almirola in Richard Petty's iconic No. 43, and Greg Biffle completed the top five. Three-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson was sixth, followed by Kyle Busch and defending race champ Paul Menard. Four-time winner Jeff Gordon - who leads all drivers in nearly every statistical category for the Brickyard 400 - will start ninth as he seeks to become the first driver to record five victories on the track's oval configuration. Sprint Cup point leader Matt Kenseth starts 10th.

Other notables include Kasey Kahne, who won the pole for Saturday's Nationwide Series event and was fastest in Sprint Cup practice, in 15th and Mark Martin in 19th. Tony Stewart, the only native Hoosier to win at the Speedway since Wilbur Shaw claimed the 1939 Indy 500, will have a long way to go if he wishes to claim his third Brickyard win. Stewart will start 28th.

Unadilla's David Ragan was 37th, one year after he took the pole for this race, while Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson failed to qualify Randy Humphrey's Ford Fusion. Also missing the show were Joe Nemechek and Michael McDowell. McDowell qualified on speed but his time was disallowed after his Ford failed post-race inspection.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.