Denny Hamlin wins pole for Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

DARLINGTON, SC — Denny Hamlin won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Busch Pole Award Saturday afternoon at Darlington Raceway with a 173.571 mph lap in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, scoring his 29th career pole and his third this season. He has won twice at the 1.366-mile track and is the defending race winner.

“The No. 1 pit stall obviously is very important here, and I’m excited about that,” Hamlin said. “Really, the team has done a very good job with the car all weekend. So I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful we have a good smooth race on Sunday and continue to build some momentum here over the next few weeks.”

Kyle Larson will join Hamlin on the front row after qualifying second–fastest in the final round, with a lap speed of 173.411 mph in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
American Muscle

He shared his thoughts after qualifying, saying, “It was pretty good there every round. The first round I was a little bit on the free side and ran a really good lap. The second round, I felt like my balance was pretty good and fell off a few tenths, but was still good. And then the third round there I was just a little too loose to carry the speed I needed to get the pole. I would have liked to have gotten the pole, but hopefully, we can keep our car up front tomorrow and get a good finish for our team and DC Solar.”

Martin Truex Jr. will start third in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota with the No. 88 Chevrolet of Alex Bowman beside him in fourth place.

Bowman was somewhat disappointed in his qualifying effort and said, “I was a little surprised. We mocked up that in first practice there and we weren’t very good. So, Greg (Ives, crew chief) and the guys did a good job getting it a lot better today.

“I thought I left a little bit on the table there in the third round, a little disappointed in myself, but better than overdriving it and smacking the fence or whatever. Not a terrible qualifying effort obviously being fourth, it’s way better than I’ve ever started here before. We have a really good race car. Just wish I had done a little better job there.”

Photo by Stephanie McLaughlin for Speedway

Kyle Busch rounded out the top five qualifiers with a fast lap of 173.064 mph in the No. 18 Skittles Toyota. Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and William Byron will start in sixth – 10th, respectively.

Of note, Jimmie Johnson was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who did not advance out of the second round of qualifying and will start the race in 20th.

Tune into the 69th annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 Sunday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. ET. It will be televised on NBC with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.




Complete Starting Lineup
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kyle Larson
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Alex Bowman
5. Kyle Busch
6. Ryan Newman
7. Erik Jones
8. Joey Logano
9. Kurt Busch
10. William Byron
11. Chase Elliott
12. Aric Almirola
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Paul Menard
15. Matt Kenseth
16. Daniel Suarez
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Austin Dillon
19. Chris Buescher
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Ryan Blaney
22. Kevin Harvick
23. David Ragan
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26. Michael McDowell
27. Bubba Wallace
28. Ty Dillon
29. Kasey Kahne
30. Matt DiBenedetto
31. Jamie McMurray
32. J.J. Yeley
33. Ross Chastain
34. Corey LaJoie
35. Landon Cassill
36. Timmy Hill
37. B.J. McLeod
38. Derrike Cope
39. Joey Gase
40. Jeffrey Earnhardt

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here