By AMANDA VINCENT
When the Toyota Save Mart 350 takes the green flag Sunday, Kyle Larson will start on the pole for the fifth-consecutive race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. His latest pole at Sonoma is the result of a 77.776-second/92.111 mph lap in the second of two rounds of qualifying Saturday.
“It was a good lap,” Larson said. “I was a bit surprised that I ran that lap, because I feel like I gave up a lot of time in turns four and seven. If I had those two corners back, I feel like I could have gone quite a bit faster. We just have a really good No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy. Thank you to everyone on our team and everybody back at the shop and the engine shop. I’m excited about it.”
Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row in Saturday’s qualifying session, as Larson’s teammate Chase Elliott claimed the second spot on Sunday’s starting grid.
Larson also was fastest among group B drivers in the opening round of qualifying with a 78.013-second/91.831 mph lap. Elliott also advanced to the final round from group B, along with Ross Chastain, Cole Custer and Daniel Suarez.
Denny Hamlin was fastest among drivers in group A of the opening round with a 78.355-second/91.430 mph lap. But after leading one of the groups in round one, he wound up with the 10th starting position after posting the slowest lap in round two.
Other drivers advancing from group A to round two of qualifying included Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell and Chris Buescher.
After the final round, Buescher and McDowell wound up with second-row spots on Sunday’s starting grid. Qualifying fifth through ninth were Reddick, Custer, Chastain, Suarez and Logano.