The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

March 22, 2013

Denny Hamlin captures 2nd straight Fontana pole

FONTANA, Calif. — Denny Hamlin won the pole for the second straight year at Fontana on Friday, turning a lap of 187.451 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Greg Biffle finished second and Brad Keselowski was third in the qualifying session, but they’ll start at the back after their Fords needed engine changes.

Although he ran early in a long qualifying session, Hamlin earned his first pole of the season and the 13th of his career. He won three last year, and has won the pole three times at Auto Club Speedway.

After his strong performance last year, Hamlin was confident his new Gen-6 race car would produce the same old results.

“These cars have different bodies on them, (but) they’re the same race cars we’ve been racing for a really long time, so everything pretty much correlated,” he said. “I love this racetrack. A lot of the reason is because it’s bumpy and it’s worn out. ... You poll the drivers, this is one of the favorite racetracks we go to.”

Hamlin nicely shook off last week’s tumultuous performance in Bristol, where he exchanged contact with Joey Logano and eventually hit the wall in the closing laps, struggling to finish 23rd despite leading the most laps. Hamlin and Logano then had a confrontation after the race, with their teams briefly scuffling.

Biffle was right behind at 187.217 mph in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Keselowski was third, beating Kyle Busch’s 187.130 mph in fourth place.

But Biffle and Keselowski both had engine issues in practice, forcing them to start from the back. Given how well their cars performed with the new engines, neither driver seemed terribly concerned.

“That was a spectacular lap considering everything we did today,” Biffle said. “The guys worked really hard to get the engine changed. I got out with three minutes to go to make a lap, and we made adjustments from that lap and were able to put down a pretty fast lap. ... We’re going to get a good pit stall for the race, and we’ll have to start at the back, so that’s unfortunate, but I’m proud of the car that we’re going to have for the race.”

Keselowski had his third top-10 time in five races this season, though he won’t get to enjoy it.

“I’m a little nervous about the engine issues the 16 and 2 cars both had in practice,” Keselowski said. “Hopefully those will subside for the race, and we’re both going to start in the back. ... It’s unfortunate, but we will have a good time hopefully racing to the front.”

Defending champion Tony Stewart qualified eighth, and Mark Martin was ninth in front of Kurt Busch. Kasey Kahne, who won last week at Bristol, qualified 16th — right behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 15th and ahead of teammate Jimmie Johnson in 18th.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • luck watch.jpg Colts Quick Hits: Saturday, July 26

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thomas - Colts Camp day two 252 Versatility personified: Thomas tries to recapture '13 start

    With the rash of injuries a year ago among the offensive skill players for the Indianapolis Colts, some might have forgotten the excellent start by guard Donald Thomas.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Riverfield splits pair in regional It was a tale of two completely different ball games for the Riverfield softball all-stars Friday at the regional in South Bend. Riverfield lost game one to Illinois 13-2 but bounced back to beat Iowa 14-1 in the afternoon to stay alive in the national tournament.

    July 25, 2014

  • SPT - HB0726 - Mathis - Colts Camp day two 101 Mathis getting lighter workload as Colts get creative

    Robert Mathis is caught in an interesting predicament. The veteran outside linebacker finds himself preparing as hard as he can to play a football season that he will watch for the first month on television. That's the result of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, and it means fans will see less of the league's reigning sack champion on the practice field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0726-Ballard2-ColtsCampdaytwo267.jpg Ballard carted off practice field

    The first scary moment of Indianapolis Colts training camp came Friday afternoon courtesy of running back Vick Ballard. The former Mississippi State star went to the ground early in the public practice after catching an undefended pass in individual drills.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thornton - Colts Camp day two 200 Healthy Thornton 'having a blast' at Colts Camp

    Hugh Thornton is making up for lost time. After missing the majority of training camp with an injured ankle as a rookie last summer, the offensive lineman reported a day early to Anderson University this week.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Colts Camp - 007 CB Darius Butler holds tight to No. 20 The number 20 has grown to mean something to Darius Butler. The former second-round pick was running out of chances when the Indianapolis Colts signed him during the 2012 season. Eleven starts and eight interceptions later, he’s ingrained as the team’s slot cornerback — working under the final season of a two-year, $4 million deal.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_3703.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Friday, July 25

    Notes, news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-080.jpg Comfortable Richardson looking for production

    On Sept. 18, the Indianapolis Colts secured the services of running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns. He spent the remainder of the season trying to catch up.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-128.jpg Luck plans to use preseason time wisely

    Managing the situations that crop up during a football game is at the top of Andrew Luck's to-do list. But his more immediate concern is maximizing every snap of training camp at Anderson University.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News