When it comes to Xfinity Series racing, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch is typically the driver to beat. In Xfinity Series qualifying at New Hampshire on Saturday, that changed. Well, not completely.
Denny Hamlin, making his eighth start of the season, qualified his No. 20 JGR Toyota on the pole with a time of 28.069 seconds (131.026 mph) in the final round. In four Xfinity Series starts at the 1.058-mile oval, Hamlin has four top-five finishes, with his best finish of second coming in his most recent start at the track, June of 2008. In the Cup Series, Hamlin has two victories in 18 starts.
Hamlin will share the front row with Busch, who was second to his teammate by .130 seconds. Busch has four wins and six top fives in nine starts at the track and has lead at least 15 laps in all but two starts at the track.
JGR rookie Daniel Suarez continues his improvement in 2015 with a third-place qualifying effort. It is his sixth consecutive top-10 qualifying result this season.
Brad Keselowski, coming off his first Xfinity Series win of the season in Kentucky, qualified fourth in his Team Penske Ford. His time of 29.254 seconds (130.198 mph) was .016 seconds faster than Brian Scott, who will start fifth. The Dillon brothers qualified sixth and seventh with Austin besting his younger brother Ty. JR Motorsports drivers Regan Smith and Chase Elliott qualified eighth and ninth respectively. Brendan Gaughan completed the top 10 with a time of 29.571 (128.312 mph).
Darrell Wallace Jr. was the second rookie to advance into the five-minute final round. He put his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 11th for the start of the 200-mile, 200-lap event. Ryan Sieg will start the race in 12th. Xfinity Series points leader Chris Buescher had a disappointing showing in qualifying and will start the race from 20th.
Coverage of the Xfinity Series Lakes Region 200 is scheduled to begin with Countdown to Green on NBCSN at 3:30 p.m. Race coverage is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.