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Hamlin Grabs Pole Position at Martinsville Sunday

Denny  Hamlin grabbed  the  pole for  Sunday's Sprint  Cup  Series race  after 
setting  a new track qualifying record at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin made a 
lap  around  this  0.526-mile,  paperclip-shaped oval  at  99.595  mph  during 
Friday's qualifying for his 17th career pole, including his personal- best and 
series-high  fifth this  season. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver missed the spring 
race  at  Martinsville while he was  recovering from a compression fracture in 
his  lower back that  he sustained during an accident in the March 24 event in 
Fontana,  Calif.  Martinsville is one  of Hamlin's best  tracks, as he has won 
four  Sprint Cup  races here. He had three consecutive victories at this track 
from  2009-10. Jimmie  Johnson, who  took  over the  lead in  the Chase  point 
standings  last  weekend at  Talladega, will  share the  front row with Hamlin 
after posting a lap at 93.344 mph. Johnson has won the last two races from the 
pole  at  Martinsville. He enters this  event with just a four-point advantage 
over Matt Kenseth, who qualified fourth. 



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