LONG POND, Pa. -- Denny Hamlin is the new driver to beat at Pocono Raceway, proving that Friday by winning the pole at the track where he scored his first career victory.
Hamlin, who won here last month, made his qualifying lap very late in the session with Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne sitting on top of the chart. But he posted a lap at 169.827 mph to grab the pole.
Hamlin heads into Sunday's race 12th in the standings, just 18 points out of the top 10.
Newman was second with a lap at 169.418 mph. Kahne was third and was followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Brian Vickers and Jeff Gordon.
Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Scott Riggs and Joe Nemechek round out the top 10.