Larson Snags Pole Position in Qualifying Showdown, Promising Thrilling Race Ahead

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Larson beats Elliott to Richmond Cup pole for all-Hendrick front row

Larson, who topped the charts in Saturday’s practice session, made an early appearance in the final round of qualifying on Saturday and set the pace with an impressive average lap speed of 120.332 mph.

Elliott, the last driver out of the 10-car group, initially secured the second-fastest time on his first lap with 120.321 mph. However, he couldn’t improve his speed on the second lap, resulting in a tie with Larson for the front row.

This pole position marks Larson’s first of the season and 17th of his career, coincidentally in a race he won a year ago.

“That definitely helps for sure – the No. 1 pit stall means a lot,” Larson commented. “Happening to be in Group A and the sun coming out a little bit helped also. Chase got real close there, so I was a little nervous. It’s good to be on the pole. We’ll see if it translates to tomorrow’s race.”

Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson (Credits: FOX 59)

Behind Larson and Elliott, Ross Chastain secured the third-fastest time (120.059 mph), followed by fellow Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman in fourth, with Bubba Wallace completing the top five.

The top 10 starting lineup also includes Todd Gilliland, Martin Truex Jr., Ty Gibbs, Austin Cindric, and Joey Logano, setting the stage for an exciting race.

In the first round of qualifying, Logano led the way in Group A with an average lap speed of 120.897 mph, with Gibbs and Larson following closely behind. Chastain and Bowman also advanced to the final round from Group A.

Notably, drivers like Chris Buescher, John Hunter Nemechek, and reigning series champion Ryan Blaney failed to advance to the final round.

In Group B, Elliott dominated with the fastest lap of the day at 122.095 mph, with Wallace and Cindric also making it to the final round. However, prominent drivers like Denny Hamlin, last weekend’s race winner William Byron, and Kyle Busch were unable to move forward.

The stage is set for an intense race as the drivers prepare to compete for victory in the upcoming event.

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