For the last couple of months, Toyota Racing Development has brought some impressive speed to the track week-in and week-out, a trend that continued Saturday at Pocono Raceway, when Denny Hamlin scored the pole for Sunday’s M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400.
Hamlin, a six-time winner at Pocono Raceway, posted the quickest time in Saturday’s single-car qualifying posting a time of 52.944 seconds (169.991mph) beating his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate by 15-hundredths of a second to secure his 36th pole in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Busch will start in second place, followed by the Hendrick Motorsports teammates of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson in third and fourth.
Rounding out the top five was Chris Buescher, who continues to put together consistent qualifying results for RFK Racing on a weekly basis.
Ryan Blaney, fighting for his life in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, will start Sunday’s 400-mile event in sixth place, with Toyota teammates Bubba Wallace and Martin Truex Jr. in seventh and eighth.
Daniel Suarez advanced to the second round in ninth, with Kurt Busch rounding out the top-10. Busch, who was looking to join his Toyota teammates further up the grid, crashed on his second-round lap in qualifying.
Busch, who won the NASCAR Cup Series event at Kansas earlier this season for 23XI Racing, will have to move to the rear of the field, after his team will have to go to a backup car.
Video: Kurt Busch Backs HARD Into Outside Wall in Final Round Qualifying at Pocono
Christopher Bell, winner last weekend at New Hampshire, failed to advance to the second round of qualifying and will start the event from 11th.
Other notables include Chase Briscoe (13th), Joey Logano (14th), Tyler Reddick (16th), Alex Bowman (17th), William Byron (18th), Austin Cindric (20th), Ross Chastain (21st), Kevin Harvick (24th), Erik Jones (34th).
Qualifying Results: 2022 NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400