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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Larson wins pole at Sonoma

Kyle Larson (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Larson (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chip Ganassi Racing swept the front row for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway after two rounds of qualifying on Friday.

Larson claimed his third pole of the season with a 75.177-second/95.295 mph lap in the second and final round. Sunday’s race, actually, will mark Larson’s fifth time starting first this season, as he started first two additional times when rain forced the cancellation of qualifying, as a result of being the points leader at the time.

“The whole lap actually felt pretty bad,” Larson said. “I messed up into (turn) one and into two and was out a little bit too far. Yeah, I felt like I gave up enough, there, that I wouldn’t have a shot at the pole. I thought, maybe, I’d maintain and run about the same lap time as the previous run, so I was surprised and I was happy about that. This is cool to get a pole on a road course in my home state. This is my closest track to Sacramento or Elk Grove where I grew up. I have lots of friends and family here. We’re going to celebrate with the team. The Target Chevy was good.”

Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch qualified third and fourth to make the second row of the starting grid and all-Toyota front row.

“It definitely hurt the tires to make an extra lap in the first round,” Truex said after qualifying third. “I just didn’t get it all the first time — tried to save a little bit of tire. But if you don’t push it 100 percent here, you lose a lot of time. I just under-drove it. Luckily, we were able to make it through the first round. Overall, it’s been good here for our Furniture Row Racing team, and I am looking forward to tomorrow. We can win from the third qualifying spot.

Chase Elliott turned in the fastest lap, overall, of the two-round session — a 75.117-second/95.371 mph lap in the opening round, but by the end of qualifying, he wound up eighth.

Matt Kenneth will start last in the 38th-car field after not posting a time in the opening round.

Here’s a look at the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway:

Row 1 — Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet), Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Toyota), Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota)
Row 3 — A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Ford)
Row 4 — Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Ford), Chase Elliott (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 5 — Chris Buescher (No. 37 Chevrolet), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Daniel Suarez (No. 19 Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford)
Row 7 — Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Ford), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota)
Row 8 — Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Ford), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 10 — Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 12 — Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), Billy Johnson (No. 43 Ford)
Row 14 — Matt DiBenedetto (No. 32 Ford), David Ragan (No. 38 Ford)
Row 15 — Cole Whitt (No. 72 Chevrolet), Erik Jones (No. 77 Toyota)
Row 16 — Landon Cassill (No. 34 Ford), Alon Day (No. 23 Toyota)
Row 17 — Josh Bilicki (No. 51 Chevrolet), Boris Said (No. 33 Chevrolet)
Row 18 — Ty Dillon (No. 13 Chevrolet), Kevin O’Connell (No. 15 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Tommy Regan (No. 55 Chevrolet), Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on June 24, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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