It was not a big surprise when Denny Hamelin managed to get pole position for the NASCAR race at Pocono after having already won there four times. The track can be a tricky one for many drivers with its triangular shape and three corners. Hamelin says that it has a changed a lot though, since he first won back in 2006.He explained that in 2012 the track has been repaved and that meant that it was very different and there is also a new apron for this race as well.
Hamelin managed to get the fastest lap by just .007mph, squeezing Kurt Busch into second place. However, during practice he was only the 24th fastest which shows that nothing is for certain. He explained that after practice adjustments were made to the car and that made a big difference. Hamelin is confident though, he explained that when you have made pole you know that you should be capable of winning. He explained that passing is hard at Pocono as well, but also being up front and not having to work through traffic makes a big difference.
The track is a favourite of Hamelin having not only been victorious a few times but having ten top 10 finishes on it in 16 attempts. However, more recently things have not been quite so good for him. He explained that since the track was repaved things have not been so good for the team. There is more grip and so handling is not so important and cars are running fast. Before that it was much easier to overtake and change position.
Busch said that it was bittersweet not getting the pole. He knows his car is capable of good speed but would have liked to have been in the front position. Behind him will be Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick, with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch behind. In the first first round of qualifying Brian Vickers was the fastest but could not hold on to the speed in the next two rounds. Jimmie Johnson, having won the last two weeks in a row was only in 20th after qualifying and Matt Kenseth who is the points leader is in 26th.