Hamlin traveled at 157.978 miles per hour for one lap around the circuit after winning the pole last week for the Charlotte 600. He also started first for the race held in Dover last September.
"When I ran the lap, I wasn't in love with it," Hamlin said. "I thought I didn't do that great of a job. I knew the track conditions were really bad [because of temperatures above 90 degrees]. I was preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."
Hamlin missed four races this year while recovering from a fracture in his lower back suffered in an accident at Fontana, Calif.
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