Kyle Larson wins Cup Series pole at Richmond Raceway
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Kyle Larson won the Busch Light Pole Award with a lap of 117.177 mph during NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night.
MORE: Starting Training | Richmond Schedule
The pole is his third of 2022 and the first since Sonoma Raceway in June. Larson was the final qualifier of the second qualifying round, beating Ross Chastain’s lap at 116.883 mph to lead the field to the green flag for the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN Radio, Radio SiriusXM NASCAR).
“Even though I came into (Turn) 1 way too hard and sideways, I imagine that’s probably where I caught up on it,” Larson said. “Just pushing it really deep, and I think getting it under control before I got to the exit is probably where I made up the lap time.
“I don’t know, though. It could be (Towers) 3 and 4. Who knows? But I felt like I went a little deep – too deep for sure – but I think it worked out in the end.
Denny Hamlin (116.485 mph), William Byron (116.470 mph) and Alex Bowman (116.384 mph) will complete the top five on the starting grid.
Three-time Richmond winner Martin Truex Jr. will start sixth (116.204 mph) ahead of Cole Custer (116.139 mph), Brad Keselowski (116.104), Erik Jones 116.064 mph) and Ryan Blaney (115.785 mph).
Prior to qualifying, five teams were penalized for failing pre-qualifying technical inspection, including Keselowski. The five teams each saw a crew member ejected and lost the ability to select their pits for Sunday’s race.
Aric Almirola finished fourth in practice behind Austin Cindric, but both Fords struggled to qualify as debut drivers. They qualified 32nd and 33rd respectively.
Ross Chastain was fastest in practice, setting the fastest lap at an average of 117.514 mph. Behind him were Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr.
Perhaps more telling for Chastain, however, was where he was fastest – on the consecutive 10-lap average sheet. Chastain was the fastest of the 29 cars which completed 10 consecutive laps with an average speed of 115.419 mph. Almirola was second in 10 laps followed by Chase Elliott, Truex and Hamlin.
Truex enters Richmond behind Ryan Blaney for the final playoff position by 19 points. While Truex was fourth on 10-lap averages, Blaney was only ninth.
Contributor: NASCAR Wire Service.