Saturday, November 14, 2009

Denny Hamlin on Pole for Nationwide race at Phoenix

Qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway for the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series' Able Body Labor 200 continued to show the Joe Gibbs Racing colours in second-best stock car series. With Kyle Busch well-positioned to lock up his first NASCAR Nationwide championship with a 247 point lead, teammate Denny Hamlin bettered the championship-dreaming Busch's top time in noon hour qualifying at Phoenix.

Driving the #20 Gamestop Toyota which his brought 5 wins to Joey Lagono this year, Hamlin's run in the Nationwide series has been far less than expected from the veteran. Winning 2 poles for 2009, Denny Hamlin has yet to secure a top 10 finish in NASCAR Nationwide competition.

As qualifying progressed, Carl Edwards in 2nd and Harvick in 3rd have wedged themselves between the Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Rounding out the top 10 is Clint Boywer in 5th, Jason Leffler, Paul Menard, Mike Bliss, David Ragan and Reed Sorenson. Within 20 points of 2nd place Carl Edwards in Nationwide points, Brad Keselowski starts 17th at Phoenix.

Canadian driver Alex Tagliani will race later today for MacDonald Motorsports but will be starting shotgun on the field in a backup car. In qualifying, Tagliani spun his #81 Dodge through the turn 3-4 section of the race track making hard contact with the outside wall. Whlie Alex Tagliani was uninjured, the impact was severe enough bend the rear frame of the primary car.

The Able Body Labor 200 at PIR is scheduled to roll at 4:30PM Eastern time.

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