Denny Hamlin wins pole at Darlington

Denny Hamlin Denny drives into Turn 1 during a NASCAR Cup Series auto racing practice session at Darlington Raceway, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

The man who won the 2017 race at Darlington will start the 2018 version in first.

Denny Hamlin posted the fastest lap of the final round of qualifying Saturday to win the pole for Sunday night’s race. Hamlin will start ahead of Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr.

Hamlin is very close to being locked into the playoffs, which begin on Sept. 16. If he wins on Sunday night he’ll have an extra five bonus points for the playoffs. He didn’t have those bonus points a year ago after his car failed inspection following the race.

Here’s the starting lineup for the race, which starts after 6 p.m. ET.

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kyle Larson
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Alex Bowman
5. Kyle Busch
6. Ryan Newman
7. Erik Jones
8. Joey Logano
9. Kurt Busch
10. William Byron
11. Chase Elliott
12. Aric Almirola
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Paul Menard
15. Matt Kenseth
16. Daniel Suarez
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Austin Dillon
19. Chris Buescher
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Ryan Blaney
22. Kevin Harvick
23. David Ragan
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26. Michael McDowell
27. Bubba Wallace
28. Ty Dillon
29. Kasey Kahne
30. Matt DiBenedetto
31. Jamie McMurray
32. JJ Yeley
33. Ross Chastain
34. Corey LaJoie
35. Landon Cassill
36. Timmy Hill
37. BJ McLeod
38. Derrike Cope
39. Joey Gase
40. Jeffrey Earnhardt

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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