Virginia native Denny Hamlin will start Sunday’s opening race of the Round of 8 from the pole position at Martinsville Speedway.
Coming off his fifth Cup win of the season last week at Kansas Speedway, Hamlin covered Martinsville’s 0.526-mile bullring at a speed of 97.840 mph to earn his fourth career Cup pole there.
In 27 career starts at Martinsville, Hamlin has five wins (tied with Pocono for his most at any Cup track), 14 top-five and 20 top-20 finishes.
“I did an OK job,” Hamlin said with a smile to NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast. “I’m pretty happy with it and look forward to 500 more laps of this.
“(The pole and the No. 1 pit stall) is big. Both of them are huge, bigger factors than people think. The No. 1 stall is especially huge here. We’ll take it, gladly accept it and hopefully, we’ll get out front.”
Chase Elliott qualified second with a 97.694 mph qualifying effort but will start from the rear because of an engine change after a failure in the morning practice.
Martin Truex Jr. (97.463 mph) will start alongside Hamlin on the front row.
Row 2 will have Aric Almirola (97.342) and Michael McDowell (97.252 mph). Row 3 will be Ryan Blaney (97.172) and Clint Bowyer (97.167). Row 4 will be Erik Jones (97.148) and Daniel Suarez (97.078). Row 5 will feature defending race winner Joey Logano (97.063) and William Byron (96.983).
According to wunderground.com, the forecast calls for a high of 80 degrees and a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.