LONG POND, Pa. — Denny Hamlin won the pole the first time he raced at Pocono Raceway. Eight years later, he still had the speed in the No. 11 Toyota to take the top spot at the triangle track.
Hamlin turned a track-record lap of 181.415 mph Friday to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup pole for Sunday's Pocono 400, a throwback to the times he dominated qualifying at one of his best tracks.
Hamlin is a four-time winner at Pocono, matching his Martinsville mark for most career wins at a track. He swept two Pocono races on its former rugged surface from the pole in 2006. He also won races on the 2½-mile track in 2009 and 2010.
"I hope this track has aged a little bit," Hamlin, 33, said, "because when it was old and worn out was when I was really good at the track."
Hamlin zipped his way to his second track record and pole of the season after topping the field at Bristol. He has 19 poles in 304 career Cup starts.
Kurt Busch starts second for a needed lift for his Stewart-Haas Racing team. Busch has struggled other than the one win that all but locked him into the Chase for the Championship. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon complete the top five.
IndyCar: Series points leader Will Power won the pole for tonight's Firestone 600 in Fort Worth, Texas, for the second consecutive year. He had a two-lap average of 218.896 mph at the high-banked, high-speed 1½-mile track for his 34th career pole. Josef Newgarden qualified second for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing at 217.835, just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing's Tony Kanaan at 217.826
Trucks: Matt Crafton won for the second time this season, leading 118 of 167 laps at the WinStar World Casino and Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Pole winner Justin Lofton took second, with Lakeland's Joe Nemechek, Ryan Blaney and John Wes Townley completing the top five.
Formula One: Series leaders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had the fastest times in practice at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Obituary: Sports car racing's John Bishop, co-founder of the International Motor Sports Association, died Thursday in San Rafael, Calif., of complications from a recent illness. He was 87. He co-founded IMSA in 1969 with wife Peggy and NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.