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JGR Qualifying Report — Pennsylvania 500
Date: July 21, 2006
Event: Pennsylvania 500 Qualifying
Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Pole Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing
JGR Lineup: Tony Stewart (13th); J.J. Yeley (21st) Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Chevrolet, won the pole for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway to lead the three-car contingent of Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin turned a lap of 52.995 seconds at a speed of 169.827 mph on the 2.5-mile triangle. It's the second pole of the season for Hamlin, who started from the pole and won at Pocono just six weeks ago. Joe Gibbs Racing now has a total of 39 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series poles. "Our car was really good today in practice for sure," Hamlin said. "When we did our mock qualifying run in June, I think we were in the mid 20s or so. I just went out there and made, you know, a crazy lap or something like that. I told Mike that I know how good our car is this time around. I didn't know how good it was that time around. So I was going out there and if I wrecked it, I wrecked it; if I didn't, I didn't. "I told him I was going take it easier this time, try not to tear our car up because I don't know what the backup's like. I just went out there. Track had a lot of grip. You know, just ran to our potential, and it was good enough for the pole." Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Â¿ Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Â¿ qualified 13th and 21st, respectively. Stewart turned a lap of 53.571, 168.001, while Yeley timed in at 53.858, 167.106. "I'll take that," Stewart said. "That's better than I thought I was going to run. The track cooled off a little bit when the clouds came over, so I'm pretty excited. That's a good lap for us." Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Ryan Newman (54.123, 169.418), Kasey Kahne (53.146, 169.345), Brian Vickers (54.157, 169,310) and Jeff Gordon (53.171, 169.265). Forty-seven drivers attempted to qualify for the 200-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Derrike Cope, Stanton Barrett, Greg Sacks and Chad Chaffin. As far as manufacturers went, Chevy took the top spot thanks to Hamlin's pole-winning mark while Dodge was next best at the hands of Newman. Carrying the flag for Ford was Matt Kenseth, who qualified 11th. The Pennsylvania 500 gets underway on Sun., July 23 at 2:05 p.m. EDT. TNT will carry live coverage of the event.