JGR Qualifying Report - Crown Royal 400

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Date: May 5, 2006 Event: Crown Royal 400 Qualifying Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval) Pole Winner: Greg Biffle of Roush Racing JGR Lineup: Denny Hamlin (7th); Tony Stewart (18th); J.J. Yeley (34th)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Chevrolet, qualified seventh for Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway to lead the three-car contingent of Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin turned a lap of 21.362 seconds at a speed of 126.393 mph on the .75-mile oval. "It was a pretty good run," said Hamlin. "We just got the car too tight. I felt like we had a top-three or so car in qualifying. We just didn't pick up as much as the other guys did. We fell a little bit short." Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet and J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet - qualified 18th and 34th, respectively. Stewart turned a lap of 21.447 seconds at 125.892 mph while Yeley timed in at 21.650 seconds with a speed of 124.711 mph. "I was hoping to go a little bit quicker than that," said Stewart, "but I'm not too disappointed. The Home Depot Monte Carlo was really good, and I was really happy with it in race trim. It was just a little bit tight in the center (of the corner), but for the most part it was a pretty solid lap." "We weren't really that spectacular during practice," said Yeley, "and while this is not what we were looking for in qualifying, we did pick up a little in our lap times. It's a long race, and we'll find a way to get to the front." Greg Biffle captured his third career pole position and his second of the season with a time of 21.194 seconds at a speed of 127.395 mph. Rounding out the top-five in qualifying were Mark Martin (21.255 seconds at 127.029 mph), Casey Mears (21.283 seconds at 126.862 mph), Brian Vickers (21.319 seconds at 126.648 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (21.331 seconds at 126.576 mph). Forty-seven drivers attempted to qualify for the 400-lap race. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Kertus Davis, Chad Chaffin, Stanton Barrett and Hermie Sadler. As far as manufacturers went, Ford took the top spot thanks to Biffle's pole-winning mark while Dodge was next best at the hands of Mears. Carrying the flag for Chevrolet was Vickers. The Crown Royal 400 gets underway on Sat., May 6 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. FX will carry live coverage of the event.

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