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Hamlin and Busch start 1-2 in Fontana

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, March 23, 2012

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Denny Hamlin
Joe Gibbs Racing swept the front row for the Auto Club 400 as Denny Hamlin won the pole and teammate Kyle Busch will start second Sunday at Auto Club (California) Speedway.

Hamlin posted a lap of 186.403 mph around the 2-mile oval in qualifying Friday. He was the only driver to eclipse 186 mph as Busch turned a lap of 185.534 mph.

Hamlin ran the bottom line around the track while many ran a higher line.

"Everyone had a different way of doing it," Hamlin said. "Some guys were five lanes up. We were one of the few cars that ran all the way on the bottom. That's where we practiced and I didn't want to change that.

"I would have probably been less efficient running the top even though it might have been faster."

Michael Waltrip Racing's Mark Martin will start third, with series points leader Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing) and Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports) rounding out the top five.

Ryan Newman, defending race champion Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, defending series champion Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson will start sixth through 10th.

Lineup

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 186.403 38.626 Leader
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 185.533 38.807 -0.181
3 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 185.533 38.807 -0.181
4 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 185.510 38.812 -0.186
5 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Quaker State 185.510 38.812 -0.186
6 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 185.328 38.850 -0.224
7 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches 185.199 38.877 -0.251
8 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 185.195 38.878 -0.252
9 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 185.185 38.880 -0.254
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Jimmie Johnson Foundation 185.123 38.893 -0.267
11 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 185.052 38.908 -0.282
12 99 Carl Edwards Ford Subway 185.000 38.919 -0.293
13 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 184.724 38.977 -0.351
14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 184.530 39.018 -0.392
15 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Ford EcoBoost 184.322 39.062 -0.436
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Allstate 184.068 39.116 -0.490
17 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 184.044 39.121 -0.495
18 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Accell Construction 183.913 39.149 -0.523
19 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 183.744 39.185 -0.559
20 30 David Stremme Toyota @TheNASCARFans 183.397 39.259 -0.633
21 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 183.379 39.263 -0.637
22 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 183.052 39.333 -0.707
23 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 182.681 39.413 -0.787
24 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 182.560 39.439 -0.813
25 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Southern California AAA 182.542 39.443 -0.817
26 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Charter 182.445 39.464 -0.838
27 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet CertainTeed / Menards 182.366 39.481 -0.855
28 43 Aric Almirola Ford Medallion Financial 182.094 39.540 -0.914
29 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 182.007 39.559 -0.933
30 26 Josh Wise* Ford Morristown Driver's Service 181.087 39.760 -1.134
31 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 180.850 39.812 -1.186
32 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 180.610 39.865 -1.239
33 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 180.542 39.880 -1.254
34 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 180.433 39.904 -1.278
35 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 180.356 39.921 -1.295
36 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota America Israel Racing 180.298 39.934 -1.308
37 33 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet South Point Hotel & Casino 179.609 40.087 -1.461
38 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 179.466 40.119 -1.493
39 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 179.296 40.157 -1.531
40 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 178.864 40.254 -1.628
41 38 David Gilliland Ford 1-800LoanMart 178.602 40.313 -1.687
42 32 Ken Schrader+ Ford U.S. Chrome / 1 Less Than 2 Ltd. 178.333 40.374 -1.748
43 74 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Turn One Racing 179.131 40.194 -1.568
44 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy 178.470 40.343 -1.717
45 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 178.443 40.349 -1.723
46 37 Timmy Hill* Ford Poynt.com 177.936 40.464 -1.838

+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie

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