Denny Hamlin takes pole Cup in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. — Denny Hamlin took pole for Sunday’s cup race at Sonoma Raceway as Toyota took five of the top eight spots in Saturday’s qualifying session. This is Hamlin’s 38th career pole.

Hamlin led the way with a lap of 92.178 mph. He will be joined in the front row by Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing (92.068 mph), giving Toyota ownership of the front row.

MORE: Sonoma Cup starting lineup

Toyota, which struggled on road courses for much of last year, saw only one of its drivers qualify in the top 10 at Circuit of the Americas, the only road course race this season.

Michael McDowell qualified third for Ford after a 92.060 mph lap. Christopher Bell placed his Toyota fourth after a lap of 91.877 mph. AJ Allmendinger was the top Chevrolet, qualifying fifth after a 91.873 mph lap. Toyota also had Ty Gibbs (91.819 mph) sixth and Martin Truex Jr. (91.736) eighth.

The top two drivers in the points didn’t do well in qualifying. Ryan Blaney, who took the lead last week, qualified 31st. William Byron, second in points, qualified 26th.

Chase Elliott, returning from a one-race suspension, qualified 10th. Grant Dernierger qualified 35th for Noah Gragson, who is out this week after suffering concussion-like symptoms following an accident last weekend at WWT Raceway.

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