Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports have brought a super-quick Chevrolet Camaro to Phoenix Raceway, and the speed charts from practice and qualifying have made that abundantly clear.
Putting down a lap of 27.642 seconds (130.237mph), Larson was able to secure his 15th pole in the NASCAR Cup Series, besting Denny Hamlin – who will start Sunday’s race from second-place – by five-hundredths of a second.
After the conclusion of the first round, though, it wasn’t looking like things were going to be that close, after the Hendrick Motorsports slammed down a lap three-tenths of a second better than the field.
The pole position for Larson, comes the day after all four Hendrick Motorsports teams faced some adversity, with NASCAR choosing to confiscate the team’s hood louvers after Friday’s 50-minute practice session.
William Byron, Larson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, will start from third place, while Brad Keselowski and Christopher Bell rounded out the top five.
With a pair of Toyota Camrys starting inside the top five, the manufacturer can breathe a sigh of relief, after the manufacturer didn’t place a single vehicle inside the top-15 in Friday’s practice session.
Ross Chastain, Michael McDowell, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Erik Jones completed the top-10 in qualifying, with each of the drivers inside the top-10 advancing to the second round, where speeds dropped off significantly.
Among the drivers that didn’t advance to the second round of qualifying, including both teams that have finished inside the top-10 in all three events – Daniel Suarez in 11th, and Alex Bowman in 18th.
Other notables include Tyler Reddick (12th), Martin Truex, Jr. (13th), Kevin Harvick (15th), Joey Logano (16th), Josh Berry (17th), Austin Cindric (20th), Chase Briscoe (24th), Ryan Preece (25th), Austin Dillon (30th), and Aric Almirola (31st).
Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup:
2023 NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals 500 Qualifying Results