SONOMA, Calif. – Kyle Larson sweeps both qualifying sessions and will start on pole for the third straight year for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway with a time of 94.784 seconds at 95.712 mph.
“I guess the trend with my three poles is winning a pole and then struggling in the race,” said Larson who claimed his first Busch Pole Award of the season. “Hopefully, we’ll have something different for tomorrow. I feel good.”
Larson bested the improving Hendrick driver of William Byron (95.669 mph) in his No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet.
“We did a mock (qualifying) run yesterday in practice and ran a good lap,” said Larson who ran the fastest time in Friday’s practice session. “I kind of over-drove the first session and then the next session I said, ‘I’m going to calm down and not make any mistakes,’ and I probably under-drove just a little. In the carousel, I think I gave up a little speed, but I feel like I made up some time in other areas, too. It’s cool to get a third pole in a row here at my home track.”
Joey Logano qualified third at 95.618 mph, but believes he knows exactly where he lost the time he needed for a pole speed run.
“I feel like my lap was pretty good,” Logano shared as his team was less than a tenth behind Larson’s pole-setting speed. “I was just a little loose. I feel like I got through it mainly pretty decent. I got a little loose off of (Turn) 10. If I could find one spot, I got too loose off 10 trying to throttle up too aggressively and stuck half my left sides up in the dirt and got loose and knocked a few mile an hour off on the exit, compared to what I would have been.
“Maybe that’s a tenth (of a second), maybe a half a tenth. I don’t know. I have to go back and look. All I needed was nine-hundredths, so that’s probably the spot I’m looking at.”
Chase Elliott qualified fourth, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez. Denny Hamlin was the top Toyota in the qualifying order, ahead of Kyle Busch who spun off Turn 4 multiple times in Friday’s practice sessions. Defending race winner Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman also made the second qualifying round and will start Sunday’s race eighth through 12th, respectively.
The first road course race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway will start coverage at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
|8||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Toyota||1:35.399||95.095|
|17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||17||Ford||1:35.749||94.748|
* – had to qualify on time