NASCAR

Denny Hamlin Captures Bristol Pole

Denny Hamlin

Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Denny Hamlin has captured the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It marks Hamlin’s fourth pole this season and the 16th of his career. Starting alongside him is Chase contender and the talk of the garage area, Kurt Busch.

Lately, it has been the Busch and Brad Keselowski show at Bristol Motor Speedway. Between the two, they have six wins since 2009, and due to the fact that they haven’t won any of the last two races, they are certainly due for a trip to victory lane.

The last driver to win from outside the top 20 was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004 when he came from 30th spot. No driver, in fact, has won from outside the top 10 since the aforementioned Busch. He will have his work cut out for him since he wrecked on both laps, and will start towards the back, jeopardizing his ability to get the weekend sweep in all three major series.

Hamlin is a former winner at Bristol in 2012, but a pole winner has not won in Bristol since Carl Edwards in 2008. Also recall that Busch previously dominated Bristol, having won five times at the track. He finished fourth in his only trip to thunder valley with Furniture Row Racing.

Joey Logano has been talked about as a possible wild card contender since his win last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, and backed it up with a strong sixth place qualifying run. I believe Logano will be running hard all night Saturday, and could be a serious contender to make a legendary Bristol moment happen.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486