Kyle Larson will lead the field into the carousel at Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. – Kyle Larson sweeps both qualifying sessions and will start on pole for the third straight year for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway with a time of 94.784 seconds at 95.712 mph.

“I guess the trend with my three poles is winning a pole and then struggling in the race,” said Larson who claimed his first Busch Pole Award of the season. “Hopefully, we’ll have something different for tomorrow. I feel good.”

Larson bested the improving Hendrick driver of William Byron (95.669 mph) in his No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet.

“We did a mock (qualifying) run yesterday in practice and ran a good lap,” said Larson who ran the fastest time in Friday’s practice session. “I kind of over-drove the first session and then the next session I said, ‘I’m going to calm down and not make any mistakes,’ and I probably under-drove just a little. In the carousel, I think I gave up a little speed, but I feel like I made up some time in other areas, too. It’s cool to get a third pole in a row here at my home track.”

Joey Logano qualified third at 95.618 mph, but believes he knows exactly where he lost the time he needed for a pole speed run.

“I feel like my lap was pretty good,” Logano shared as his team was less than a tenth behind Larson’s pole-setting speed. “I was just a little loose. I feel like I got through it mainly pretty decent. I got a little loose off of (Turn) 10. If I could find one spot, I got too loose off 10 trying to throttle up too aggressively and stuck half my left sides up in the dirt and got loose and knocked a few mile an hour off on the exit, compared to what I would have been.

Larson claims his first Busch Pole Award for the 2019 season at his home track at Sonoma Raceway. Photo courtesy of Rachel Schuoler for Speedway Media.
Larson claims his first Busch Pole Award for the 2019 season at his home track at Sonoma Raceway. Photo courtesy of Rachel Schuoler for Speedway Media.

“Maybe that’s a tenth (of a second), maybe a half a tenth. I don’t know. I have to go back and look. All I needed was nine-hundredths, so that’s probably the spot I’m looking at.”

Chase Elliott qualified fourth, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez. Denny Hamlin was the top Toyota in the qualifying order, ahead of Kyle Busch who spun off Turn 4 multiple times in Friday’s practice sessions. Defending race winner Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman also made the second qualifying round and will start Sunday’s race eighth through 12th, respectively.

The first road course race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway will start coverage at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

1   Kyle Larson42Chevrolet1:34.784   95.712    
2   William Byron24Chevrolet1:34.827   95.669    
3   Joey Logano22Ford1:34.878   95.618    
4   Chase Elliott9Chevrolet1:34.898   95.597    
5   Daniel Suarez41Ford1:35.260   95.234    
6   Denny Hamlin11Toyota1:35.287   95.207    
7   Kyle Busch18Toyota1:35.367   95.127    
8   Martin Truex Jr.19Toyota1:35.399   95.095    
9   Ryan Blaney12Ford1:35.507   94.988    
10   Chris Buescher37Chevrolet1:35.668   94.828    
11   Jimmie Johnson48Chevrolet1:36.156   94.347    
12   Alex Bowman88Chevrolet1:36.374   94.133    
13   Michael McDowell34Ford1:35.449   95.046    
14   Clint Bowyer14Ford1:35.485   95.010    
15   Aric Almirola10Ford1:35.624   94.872    
16   Kurt Busch1Chevrolet1:35.746   94.751    
17   Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.17Ford1:35.749   94.748    
18   David Ragan38Ford1:35.821   94.677    
19   Matt DiBenedetto95Toyota1:35.926   94.573    
20   Ryan Preece47Chevrolet1:36.070   94.431    
21   Ryan Newman6Ford1:36.106   94.396    
22   Brad Keselowski2Ford1:36.118   94.384    
23   Kevin Harvick4Ford1:36.130   94.372    
24   Paul Menard21Ford1:36.281   94.224    
25   Daniel Hemric8Chevrolet1:36.294   94.211    
26   Austin Dillon3Chevrolet1:36.457   94.052    
27   Corey LaJoie32Ford1:36.484   94.026    
28   Matt Tifft36Ford1:36.781   93.737    
29   Parker Kligerman96Toyota1:37.006   93.520   *
30   Bubba Wallace43Chevrolet1:37.020   93.506    
31   Ty Dillon13Chevrolet1:37.040   93.487    
32   Erik Jones20Toyota1:37.530   93.018    
33   Justin Haley77Chevrolet1:37.911   92.656    
34   Cody Ware52Chevrolet1:38.432   92.165    
35   Landon Cassill00Chevrolet1:38.719   91.897    
36   J.J. Yeley51Chevrolet1:39.161   91.488    
37   Kyle Weatherman15Chevrolet1:42.283   88.695    
38   Reed Sorenson27Chevrolet     *

* – had to qualify on time

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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