Kyle Larson rockets to pole in Phoenix Cup Series title race

Kyle Larson left no doubt Saturday that he has the speed to contend for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Kyle Larson rockets to pole in Phoenix Cup Series title race

Going out 38th about the 39 cars entered, not only did Larson knock his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and fellow title contender, Chase Elliott, from the pole – but did so emphatically.

Larson’s average lap speed of 137.847 mph was nearly a mile-and-hour faster than Elliott (136.939 mph) – extraordinary on a 1-mile oval like Phoenix Raceway.

“I was a little bit edgy into (Turn) 1. I got off (Turn) 2 really good and I got into (Turn) 3 as hard as I thought that I could,” Larson said. “I was blind – I’m sure all of us were – and probably carried a little bit too much speed and was a little loose off (Turn) 4.

“It’s really cool. A great start to the weekend. It will help with pit stall selection and we’ve been off to a good start on execution and hope to keep that going.”

Asked what the pole means for the race, Larson said: “I don’t know if it’s a championship-winning moment but either way, it’s great to get off to a good start. Hopefully, we can do a good job in the race and keep up with the track.”

The pole is the 10th is Larson’s Cup career and second this season. NASCAR only held qualifying sessions at seven events this season.

Larson won a series-leading nine races this season and was the first driver to lock himself into the Championship 4 thanks to wins at Texas and Kansas in the semifinal round.

Hendrick swept the top three starting positions in the race as William Byron (136.846 mph) ended up third.

Ryan Blaney (136.804 mph) was fourth and Kurt Busch (136.742 mph) rounded out the top-five.

The other two Championship 4 contenders – Denny Hamlin (136.565 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (135.880 mph) – will line up sixth and 12th, respectively.

Prior to qualifying, the cars of Larson, Truex and Hamlin all failed inspection twice and each had their respective car chiefs ejected for the remainder of the weekend.

Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet passed on the first try.

Read Also:
Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1 26.116     137.847
2 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 2 26.289 0.173 0.173 136.939
3 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 2 26.307 0.191 0.018 136.846
4 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 2 26.315 0.199 0.008 136.804
5 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 2 26.327 0.211 0.012 136.742
6 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 2 26.361 0.245 0.034 136.565
7 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 2 26.432 0.316 0.071 136.199
8 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 2 26.433 0.317 0.001 136.193
9 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 2 26.434 0.318 0.001 136.188
10 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 2 26.436 0.320 0.002 136.178
11 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 2 26.469 0.353 0.033 136.008
12 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 2 26.494 0.378 0.025 135.880
13 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 2 26.502 0.386 0.008 135.839
14 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 2 26.544 0.428 0.042 135.624
15 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 2 26.544 0.428 0.000 135.624
16 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 2 26.544 0.428 0.000 135.624
17 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 2 26.558 0.442 0.014 135.552
18 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 2 26.568 0.452 0.010 135.501
19 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 2 26.576 0.460 0.008 135.461
20 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 2 26.592 0.476 0.016 135.379
21 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 2 26.594 0.478 0.002 135.369
22 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 2 26.623 0.507 0.029 135.221
23 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 2 26.649 0.533 0.026 135.089
24 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 2 26.652 0.536 0.003 135.074
25 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 2 26.665 0.549 0.013 135.008
26 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 2 26.683 0.567 0.018 134.917
27 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 2 26.722 0.606 0.039 134.720
28 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 2 26.811 0.695 0.089 134.273
29 77 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 2 26.812 0.696 0.001 134.268
30 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 2 26.906 0.790 0.094 133.799
31 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 2 26.921 0.805 0.015 133.725
32 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 2 27.181 1.065 0.260 132.445
33 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 2 27.560 1.444 0.379 130.624
34 53 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 2 27.716 1.600 0.156 129.889
35 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 2 27.861 1.745 0.145 129.213
36 13 United States David Starr Ford 2 27.874 1.758 0.013 129.153
37 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 2 27.887 1.771 0.013 129.092
38 15 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 2 28.243 2.127 0.356 127.465
39 66 United States Timmy Hill Toyota    

 

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