Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Nashville Cup starting lineup: Denny Hamlin wins pole

LEBANON, Tenn. -- Denny Hamlin will lead the Cup Series field to the green flag Sunday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Hamlin won the pole with a lap of 157.226 mph. This is the 42nd pole win of his career and his second of the season.

The final round of qualifying featured all three manufacturers. There were two Chevrolet drivers, four Toyota drivers, and four Ford drivers.

MORE: Hamlin wins pole, full Nashville lineup

Josh Berry qualified second with a lap of 159.749 mph. Christopher Bell (159.845 mph), Kyle Larson (159.845 mph), and Brad Keselowski (159.536 mph) rounded out the top five.

Tyler Reddick (159.6 mph), William Byron (159.531 mph), Ty Gibbs (159.451 mph), Chris Buescher (159.064 mph), and Austin Cindric (158.89 mph) all qualified inside the top 10.

Corey Heim, making his first start for 23XI Racing, qualified 29th with a lap of 157.226 mph.

Hamlin has been in contention during the Next Gen races at Nashville Superspeedway. He led 114 laps in 2022 after starting from the pole, and he finished sixth. He then led 81 laps in last season's Nashville race before finishing third. However, Hamlin said Saturday that he wasn't the best in the previous races at the 1.33-mile track.

Starting on the front row is only the latest sign of progress for Berry and the No. 4 team. The Tennessee native did not finish inside the top 10 in the first 12 races of the season. He has since scored four top-10 finishes and two top-fives. Now he starts from the front row at his home track.

"We've had good pace the last couple of weeks, but really the last couple of months have been a big step in the right direction," Berry said Saturday ahead of qualifying.

"Even earlier in the year we saw potential in several races, but we weren't able to put the whole piece together. I feel confident in our group. I think our cars are handling well. I think they're faster. I'm getting more comfortable and getting more used to Cup racing in general.

The green flag for Sunday's Cup Series race will wave at 3:53 p.m .ET. NBC will provide coverage for the 300-lap race.