Coke 600: Denny Hamlin wins, with Toyota taking the first two rows

Denny Hamlin Coke 600

Denny Hamlin took the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, leading a Toyota sweep of the first two rows.

Denny Hamlin Coke 600

In the last 10-driver round, Hamlin and Kurt Busch were two of the first five to seek qualifying and were the fastest in the session.

Hamlin, who hasn’t even won a Cup race at Charlotte, led the Toyotas to the front four starting spots with an aggregate track pace of 183.680 mph.

Hamlin’s 34th pole of his profession and the first of the 2022 season.

“In practice and qualifying I had reps in (Turns 3 and 4) and I kind of knew what I needed for my car,” said Hamlin, who ran a tight low line around Turns 3 and 4. “I just thought, forward-thinking, that this track was going to get a little better and we wanted to cut the distance we could off if the track continued to grip up.

“Winning would mean a lot. (My team) knows how special this race means to me to try to win and I’ve had such fast cars here and crazy luck I’ve had here over the years and the mistakes that I’ve made that have kept us from winning.

“Man, I just really want to get this one.”

Kurt Busch, who races for Hamlin’s 23XI Racing team, was 2nd (183.661 mph), Christopher Bell finished 3rd (183.665 mph), Kyle Busch finished 4th (183.505 mph), and William Byron completed the top-five.

Austin Cindric, Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, and Michael McDowell round out the starting lineup’s top ten players.

The fastest Chevrolet was Byron, while the only Ford in the top ten was McDowell.

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