Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, is a qualifying expert at Sonoma Raceway. In Saturday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s Toyota / Save Mart 350, Larson snagged his fourth-career pole in just his eighth start at the California road course.
Larson was able to narrowly eek out the pole as he turned a lap of 77.776 sec. (92.111 mph), which was just 23-one-thousandths of a second faster than his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, who will start on the outside of the front row.
In addition to this being his fourth-career pole at Sonoma Raceway, this qualifying effort marks Larson’s second pole position of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season as he also scored the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500.
Chris Buescher, who returns this week after a one week absense following contracting COVID-19, recorded the third-best lap of round 2 of the session and he’ll start the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford from third.
Michael McDowell and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five fastest in the final round of qualifying.
Cole Custer, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin will mark the remaining drivers that will fire from the top-10 starting spots on Sunday.
Among the surprises in the session was a 17th-place qualifying effort for road course ace, and part-time driver for Rick Ware Racing, Joey Hand.
Another surprise in the session was the lack of pace for the No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Erik Jones. In practice earlier in the day, Jones had turned the 12th-fastest lap of the session. However, in qualifying, Jones was only able to muster the 33rd-fastest speed.