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Mar 30, 2024 1:49 pm

Kyle Larson captures Cup Series pole at Richmond

kyle larson

Kyle Larson claimed his first pole position of the 2024 season Saturday afternoon to lead an all-Hendrick Motorsports front row for Sunday’s Toyota Owner’s 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway (7 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Larson’s time of 22.438-seconds (120.332 mph) narrowly bettered his teammate Chase Elliott’s mark of 22.440-seconds (120.321) around the three-quarter-mile Richmond oval – good enough to earn the 2021 series champion and defending Richmond race winner the 17th pole position of his career.

“Definitely helps for sure,” Larson said. “Having the number one pit stall here means a lot. So happy to do that. Happy to be in Group A for sure and then the sun coming out a little bit there helps.

“Chase got real close there so I was a bit nervous. Awesome day for Hendrick Motorsports. … Good to be on the pole. We’ll see if it translates in tomorrow’s race.”

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain will start third followed by Hendrick driver Alex Bowman and 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace.

Front Row Motorsports’ Todd Gilliland, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Ty Gibbs, and Team Penske teammates Austin Cindric and Joey Logano rounded out the top qualifiers at Richmond.

Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford had been fastest in Group A during first round qualifying, as had Elliott, whose 22.114-second 122.095 mph was quickest overall in the opening round.

Of note, Denny Hamlin just missed advancing to second round qualifying and the four-time Richmond winner will start 11th in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, who posted the fastest 30-lap average speed in practice, will start 12th.

Last week’s winner at the Circuit of The Americas road course, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron will roll off 13th. He is the first multi-race winner of the season, with victories in the Daytona 500 and COTA. He’ll start alongside the summer Richmond race winner, RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher.

Richard Childress Racing driver Kyle Busch, who leads all active drivers with six Richmond victories, will roll off 15th.

ANOTHER FIRST TIME POLESITTER

The NASCAR Xfinity Series had another first-time pole-winner this season with Jordan Anderson Racing’s Parker Retzlaff, a 20-year old Wisconsin native, claiming the top starting position in the No. 31 Chevrolet for Saturday afternoon’s ToyotaCare 250 (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

“It feels great,” Retzlaff said. “This is where I made my first start two years ago so, kind of feels full circle.”

-By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service, Special to Field Level Media

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