Denny Hamlin claims Darlington XFINITY pole

Matthew T. Thacker/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Piloting a special throwback scheme, Denny Hamlin did what many have done in the No. 18 Toyota this season – claim a NASCAR XFINITY Series pole.

Hamlin’s 172.209-mph circuit around the 1.366-mile Darlington Raceway served as the quickest time for the XFINITY Series, awarding Hamlin his 21st-career pole in the series, and his first since 2015.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick saved his attempt for the final seconds of the session, but fell just short of Hamlin with a 171.435-mph lap. Daniel Hemric (171.130 mph), Cle Custer (171.017 mph) and Ty Dillon (170.803 mph) rounded out the top five, with William Byron (170.519 mph), Elliott Sadler (170.407 mph), Brennan Poole (170.389 mph), Austin Dillon (170.342 mph) and Joey Logano (170.277 mph) completing the top 10.

Justin Allgaier led the group of drivers that failed to make the final round of qualifying in 13th. Playoff bubble drivers Blake Koch (18th), Brendan Gaughan (19th) and Michael Annett (21st) all saw their sessions ended in round two, as did the driver chasing them – Dakoda Armstrong (24th).

The lone driver to fail to qualify for the 40-car event was Reed Sorenson, whose No. 15 lost fourth gear. Sorenson was unable to set a time during the session, guaranteeing 75-year-old Morgan Shepherd into the throwback race.

Coverage for the Sport Clips VFW 200 will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Results, via NASCAR

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