NASCAR Fontana 2013 qualifying results: Hamlin wins pole, apologizes to Logano

Jonathan Ferrey

Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday's NASCAR race and issued an apology afterward for questioning the driving ability of Joey Logano last week at Bristol.

It's been an eventful few weeks for Denny Hamlin. Two weeks ago, he was fined by NASCAR for remarks he made about the Gen-6 car, and last week, he was involved in a war of words with Joey Logano that resulted in a tussle in the garage between their respective teams.

At Auto Club Speedway Friday, Hamlin again found himself in the news as he put his No. 11 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's running of the Auto Club 400 with a lap of 187.451 mph.

When speaking with the media following his first pole-winning run of the season, Hamlin took the time to apologize for the comments he made last week about Logano's driving ability.

"I probably shouldn't have gave that last little jab at the end," Hamlin said. "Probably should have just left it alone after the question was asked about what he said.

"It's not up to me to determine where he stands among the elite of NASCAR. I think that it's the fans and the teams who decide that. I didn't need to give my opinion on that. I think that was kind of a low blow."

Hamlin also said he has no further issue with Logano going forward, though the two have yet to talk.

Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski posted the second- and third-fastest times, respectively. However, both will have to forfeit their starting positions and go to the back of the grid after making engine changes prior to qualifying.

Biffle and Keselowski both use Ford Roush Yates engines and Biffle admitted afterward that their motor problems may be similar in nature.

"We feel like the issues could be common between the 2 (Keselowski) car and my car," he said. "I think they are thinking it is the same issue and something mechanical, something parts wise inside the engine at the bottom of the engine, I think. We will know here after we take it apart but right now we are sort of guessing."

Neither driver, however, is worried about starting in the back due to the wide track surface, which gives drivers multiple grooves to complete passes. Biffle said he could be up front in 100 laps, and Keselowski countered, saying it would only take him 99 laps to do so.

Tony Stewart, who won this race a year ago, qualified eighth.

Complete Auto Club 400 Starting Lineup:

1) Denny Hamlin

2) Greg Biffle

3) Brad Keselowski

4) Kyle Busch

5) Matt Kenseth

6) Joey Logano

7) Martin Truex Jr.

8) Tony Stewart

9) Mark Martin

10) Kurt Busch

11) Casey Mears

12) Juan Pablo Montoya

13) Clint Bowyer

14) Kevin Harvick

15) Dale Earnhardt Jr.

16) Kasey Kahne

17) Jamie McMurray

18) Jimmie Johnson

19) Jeff Gordon

20) Ryan Newman

21) Marcos Ambrose

22) Jeff Burton

23) Aric Almirola

24) Carl Edwards

25) Bobby Labonte

26) AJ Allmendinger

27) Paul Menard

28) David Reutimann

29) Dave Blaney

30) Josh Wise

31) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

32) David Stremme

33) Travis Kvapil

34) David Gilliland

35) Michael McDowell

36) Landon Cassill

37) JJ Yeley

38) Scott Riggs

39) Timmy Hill

40) Danica Patrick

41) Mike Bliss

42) David Ragan

43) Joe Nemechek

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