After a commanding win at Homestead, it looks like Kyle Larson – the defending champion of the NASCAR Cup Series – is looking to start another hot streak to close out the season.
The Elk Grove, California native was able to back up his first-place finishing position from last weekend with a first-place starting position in the series’ penultimate event of the season, at Martinsville Speedway, a track that Larson has previously struggled with.
Larson put down a fantastic two-lap run in the second – and final – round of qualifying on Sunday, posting a 19.709-second lap (96.078) to capture the pole position over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, who will start the event from second place.
Despite setting a pole-winning time in the final round, Larson wasn’t the fastest driver in the opening round of qualifying, ranking fourth overall in the first round, and second in his group (Group A).
The driver who put down the fastest lap across all rounds, Chase Briscoe, will start the race from third place, as the Stewart-Haas Racing pilot looks to secure a victory in what is considered to be a must-win scenario.
Ryan Blaney posted the fourth-quickest lap in the second round of qualifying and will start alongside Briscoe on the second row, with Cole Custer recording one of his best starting spots of the year, in fifth.
Brad Keselowski will start the race from sixth, with Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and first-year driver Harrison Burton rounding out the top-10.
After taking the victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on Thursday, Corey LaJoie put up a solid qualifying effort in his Spire Motorsports entry and will start Sunday’s 500-lap contest from the 14th.
Of the eight drivers still eligible for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series title, Denny Hamlin qualified in 11th, Joey Logano in 12th, Christopher Bell in 20th, and William Byron – the winner at Martinsville this Spring – put his No. 24 in 25th.
Other notable drivers include Martin Truex Jr. (27th), Tyler Reddick (28th), and Austin Cindric (30th).