Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Denny Hamlin Scores Historic Pole Position on Streets of Chicago

Denny Hamlin will lead the field to green in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course after a thrilling qualifying session. PC: Will Bellamy, Racing America

After a thrilling conclusion to qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 220, the inaugural Chicago Street Race, Denny Hamlin and his driver, Tyler Reddick, will lead the field to green.

Hamlin was able to snipe the historic pole position away from Tyler Reddick in the final seconds of qualifying for Sunday’s event, after returning to the track for a second lap in the final round of qualifying.

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A native of Chesterfield, Virginia, Hamlin was able to post a time of 88.435 seconds (89.557mph) in the final round of qualifying to snatch the pole over Reddick, who put down a time less than half a tenth slower than the eventual polesitter.

However, just a couple of seconds prior to Hamlin stealing the pole away from Reddick and 23XI Racing, the No. 45 team did the exact same thing to Shane Van Gisbergen, who has continued to impress throughout the afternoon at the 2.2-mile street course.

Van Gisbergen, who was forced to run an extra lap in the first round of qualifying due to a crash by Chase Elliott, had an extra lap on his Goodyear tires, which likely made an impact on his effort in the final run.

The three-time champion in Australian Supercars was looking to become just the eighth driver in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series to score a pole on debut, and the first since Dick Hutcherson in 1964.

Christopher Bell posted the fourth-quickest time in the final round of qualifying, while Daniel Suarez, a teammate to the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro, will complete the top-five starters for the event.

Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson, Jenson Button, Joey Logano, and AJ Allmendinger completed the top-10 in qualifying.

Button, driving the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing, notched the best qualifying run for the organization in a typical time trials format. Earlier this year, JJ Yeley started third in the Bristol Dirt Race, as a result of the heat race and passing points format.

Notables to start outside the top-10 include Martin Truex, Jr. (11th), Alex Bowman (13th), Ryan Blaney (17th), Kyle Busch (18th), Brad Keselowski (20th), William Byron (22nd), Chase Elliott (26th), Austin Cindric (31st), Ross Chastain (34th), and Kevin Harvick (35th).

Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick both suffered issues during qualifying for the Grant Park 220, in which they both sustained heavy damage to their vehicles. While it is unclear if either team will go to a backup car, it is expected both will start at the rear on Sunday.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Justin Haley also suffered issues in NASCAR Cup Series on-track action this afternoon, which forced both drivers to yield their attempt at making a qualifying run. They will start 35th and 36th.

Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup – Grant Park 220:

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 220 at Chicago Qualifying Results

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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