NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Richmond International Raceway was rained out Friday.
Richmond, Va. – With a severe weather forecast threatening the Richmond area, NASCAR officials cancelled Sprint Cup qualifications at the Richmond International Raceway on Friday afternoon.
As a result, the starting line-up for Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 will be based on speeds recorded in the first of two Sprint Cup practice sessions.
Rookie sensation Kyle Larson will start from the pole and he will be joined in the front row by Brad Keselowski. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne earned second-row starting positions, and they will be trailed by Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Truex Jr., Paul Menard and 2013 Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.
For rookie Larson, this will be his first-ever Sprint Cup race at RIR, although he had two Nationwide Series starts in 2013 to go along with one Goodyear tire test.
Said the Californian, “We were debating whether to go out in qualifying or race trim during the first practice, and I was able to talk my crew chief (Chris Heroy) into doing it. I wasn’t sure what to expect on that first lap, but we did have a good base line after the Goodyear test. I was pretty confident when we went out and was able to lay down a fast lap.
“It is nice to start from the pole, although I don’t know if I will count it as my first career pole, but it is still pretty cool to start on the front row. It would be nice to have a legit pole, and I don’t know if we would have gotten it, as we were slower in race trim. I doubt if we would have gotten the pole, but I will take it.”
Driving the AXE Peace Chevrolet, Larson’s top speed was 126.880 miles per hour, and it came in the third of 70 practice laps. Keselowski’s speed of 126.1921 mph was attained in the blue Detroit Genuine Parts Ford, and he did it on his fifth practice lap.
Other notables and their starting positions are Matt Kenseth, 12th; Dale Earnhardt Jr., 13th; Carl Edwards, 16th; Joey Logano, 17th; Kyle Busch, 19th; Tony Stewart, 20th; Jeff Gordon, 25th, Denny Hamlin, 28th and Danica Patrick, 35th.
Failing to make the 43-car starting field were Michael McDowell and Dave Blaney.