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Kyle Larson Earns Xfinity Series Pole at Circuit of The Americas

Kyle Larson NASCAR Xfinity Series pole COTA 2024 Hendrick Motorsports

Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, TobyChristie.com

With many road course specialists in the field for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Kyle Larson wasn’t necessarily among the favorites to capture the pole in Friday’s qualifying session.

But, for the seventh time in his career, the Elk Grove, California native will lead the field to green in the second-tier series, scoring the pole position for the Focused Health 250 at the 3.41-mile road course located in Austin, Texas.

Driving the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports, Larson posted a time of 132.076 seconds (92.946mph) to score the pole for Saturday, leading second-place qualifier Shane van Gisbergen by just over four-tenths of a second.

It’s the fourth pole for Hendrick Motorsports since reviving their NASCAR Xfinity Series program in 2022, three of which have come from the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Van Gisbergen, who will make his first Xfinity Series start on a road course Saturday, scored a career-best qualifying result and will take the green from the outside of the front row for Kaulig Racing in the No. 97 WeatherTech Chevrolet.

NASCAR Cup Series regular Ty Gibbs qualified in third, while Chandler Smith, and AJ Allmendinger, the all-time leader on road courses in the second-tier series, completed the top-five starters. Sage Karam, Sheldon Creed, Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric, and Sam Mayer rounded out the top-10.

Hemric, who usually competes in the NASCAR Cup Series for Kaulig Racing, was serving as a fill-in driver for Josh Williams in Friday’s practice and qualifying session, as he and his wife are on baby watch, expecting their first child. Williams will return to the racetrack on Saturday to compete in the event, but will have to start at the rear of the field.

Notables that qualified outside the top-10 include Austin Hill (11th), Parker Kligerman (12th), Sammy Smith (13th), Jesse Love (14th), Justin Allgaier (15th), Brandon Jones (18th), Riley Herbst (19th), John Hunter Nemechek (20th).

With 40 driers entered into Saturday’s Focused Health 250, two drivers were forced to pack up their things and leave Austin, Texas prematurely, those being Preston Pardus in the Pardus Racing Inc. No. 50 and Kaz Grala in the No. 28 Ford Mustang for RSS Racing.

Qualifying Results: NXS Focused Health 250 at COTA

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