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Kyle Larson Scores 17th Career Pole; Leads Hendrick Front Row Sweep at Richmond

A pair of NASCAR Cup Series champions will lead the field to green in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, with Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott posting the fastest times in qualifying on Saturday.


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For the first time since April 2023, Kyle Larson will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to green, scoring the pole position for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

Driving the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, Larson posted a time of 22.438 seconds (120.332mph) in the final round of qualifying on Saturday, narrowly eking out his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott to score the 17th pole of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Larson was the quickest driver in practice on Saturday, marking the second straight weekend that a Hendrick Motorsports driver has led the way in both practice and qualifying. Last weekend at Circuit of the Americas, William Byron went on to capture the victory.

Elliott, still hunting for his first top-five result of the season entering Richmond, will start on the front row for the seventh NASCAR Cup Series event of 2024, coming just .002 seconds short of winning the pole position. It’s the best starting spot for the Dawsonville, Georgia-native since the penultimate race of the 2022 season at Martinsville Speedway.

After being the slowest driver in practice, Ross Chastain posted the third-quickest time in the final round of qualifying on Saturday and will start alongside another Hendrick Motorsports driver in Alex Bowman, who continues the momentum from back-to-back top-five finishes with a fourth-place starting spot.

Bubba Wallace was the highest qualifying among the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) camp, in fifth place. Todd Gilliland scored his second top-10 starting spot of the year at the three-quarter-mile facility, and also his best NASCAR Cup Series start at a non-superspeedway, posting a lap good enough for sixth place.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex, Jr. and Ty Gibbs qualified seventh and eighth place, with Team Penske teammates Austin Cindric and Joey Logano completing the top-10.

Denny Hamlin will start Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 from 11th place, after failing to advance into the final round of qualifying from Group B by 0.002 seconds. Defending Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney will start 12th, after being the first driver that failed to advance from Group A.

Other notable drivers that failed to advance into the final round of qualifying include William Byron (13th), Chris Buescher (14th), Kyle Busch (17th), Tyler Reddick (19th), Daniel Suarez (20th), Brad Keselowski (23rd), Christopher Bell (29th), and Josh Berry (30th).

John Hunter Nemechek, who posted the fourth-quickest overall time in practice earlier in the afternoon, failed to back up that strong speed in Saturday’s single-vehicle qualifying session, posting a lap good enough for 18th. Justin Haley was also inside the top-10 in practice but qualified a disappointing 36th after a tough lap in time trials.

Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com

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