Hamlin wins pole at Dover
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Denny Hamlin has another top spot in his comeback from a back injury.
He'll need to turn poles into checkered flags if he wants to make a serious run at a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Hamlin turned a lap of 157.978 mph Friday to win the pole at Dover International Speedway. He won the pole last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway and has three overall this season.
But a four-race absence because of his injury has him needing wins to make the Chase and race for his first career championship.
Hamlin, who finished fourth last week, has never won at Dover. He has only a 19.6 average finish in 14 career races on the mile track.
Hamlin's fourth-place finish moved him up three spots to 24th in the standings, 53 points out of 20th position, where he'd need to be to be eligible for one of two wild-card berths.
"I feel like we're hitting our stride," he said. "We're running really well at different types of race tracks. Overall, I'm pretty happy. We still need to get those race wins."
Patrick sides with boss over boyfriend
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Danica Patrick sides with her boss over her boyfriend.
Patrick laughed at the idea that Tony Stewart (her boss) wanted to choke Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (her boyfriend) for blocking in last week's race at Charlotte. In fact, she might have helped Stewart put his hands around Stenhouse's neck. Patrick had her race spoiled when she was wrecked by Stenhouse in their first on-track accident since they announced they were dating.
If Patrick felt caught in the middle of the boss-boyfriend squabble, she didn't show it Friday at Dover International Speedway.