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Hamlin wins Sprint Cup pole at Fontana

March 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM

FONTANA, Calif., March 22 (UPI) -- Denny Hamlin turned a lap at 187.451 miles per hour Friday to win the pole for this Sunday's running of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Auto Club 400.

Hamlin qualified first on this track for the third time, but he is still seeking his first victory on the circuit.

Greg Biffle qualified second at 187.217 while defending series champion Brad Keselowski was third in 187.149. Biffle and Keselowski, however, made an engine change during practice Friday and thus will be moved to the back of the field.

Keselowski has finished no worse than fourth in his four races this season.

The top three qualifiers were followed by Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Tony Stewart.

Danica Patrick struggled again in qualifying with a 40th-place finish. Since winning the pole for the Daytona 500, Patrick has qualified no better than 40th.

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