Denny Hamlin, one of eight drivers still in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, Friday won the pole position for Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Hamlin turned a lap of 142.113 mph on the one-mile PIR oval to gain the first starting spot.
The field of eight drivers still in NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup title playoff will be cut to four after Sunday’s race, with the final four deciding the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16.
Six of the top seven qualifying spots Friday went to drivers in the Chase.
Here’s how the other drivers in the Chase qualified: Brad Keselowski (2nd), Kevin Harvick (3rd), Joey Logano (4th), Matt Kenseth (5th), Jeff Gordon (7th), Carl Edwards (13th) and Ryan Newman (20th).
The 10-race Chase began with 16 drivers, with four drivers being eliminated every third race. Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson -- who qualified 15th for Sunday’s race -- is among the drivers already knocked out of the playoff.
Follow @PeltzLATimes for more motor racing news