Kyle Larson takes third straight pole at Sonoma Cup race

Kyle Larson has qualifying down at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, now he’d like to add a trip to Victory Lane as well.

Kyle Larson takes third straight pole at Sonoma Cup race
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hertz
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hertz
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Shell Pennzoil

Larson dominated both rounds of qualifying on Saturday, using an average lap speed of 95.712 mph to win the pole for Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 for the third consecutive season.

In five previous starts at the track, however, Larson has never finished better than 12th.

“I guess the trend with my three poles is winning a pole and then struggling in the race. Hopefully, we’ll have something different for tomorrow,” Larson said. “I feel good.

“We did a mock run yesterday in practice and ran a good lap. 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 at my home track.”

The pole is Larson’s first of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and eighth of his career.

Pole Award Winner Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank

Pole Award Winner Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Credit One Bank

Photo by: Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

William Byron ended up second (95.669 mph) and Joey Logano was third (95.618 mph). Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top 12 starters are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.

Round 1

Larson, looking for his third consecutive pole at Sonoma, got off to a strong start, leading the way in the first 20-minute session.

Larson’s average lap speed of 95.901 mph topped Suarez (95.781 mph) and Byron (95.687 mph). Logano was fourth and Blaney completed the top-five.

Also advancing to the final round were Buescher, Kyle Busch, Bowman, Hamlin, Elliott, Johnson and Truex.

Among those who failed to advance were Michael McDowell; three Stewart-Haas Racing cars – Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick; Brad Keselowski; Austin Dillon; Bubba Wallace; and Erik Jones.

“I think we have a good car. I felt like it was really good on the long run yesterday, it’s hard to have the best of both worlds here,” Almirola said. “Sometimes you sacrifice the short-run speed.”

Jones had trouble in Turn 1 on his initial lap as he fell off the pace with a flat left-rear tire. He then had to limp his way on the entire track back to pit road, which did extensive damage to the left-rear wheel well.

“It was flat the whole lap, I just didn’t know it, I was sliding all over the place,” Jones said. Jones will have to move to a backup car which will entail him starting Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

Read Also:

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Time Gap Mph
1 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 1'34.784   95.712
2 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 1'34.827 0.043 95.669
3 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 1'34.878 0.094 95.618
4 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 1'34.898 0.114 95.597
5 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 1'35.260 0.476 95.234
6 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 1'35.287 0.503 95.207
7 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 1'35.367 0.583 95.127
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 1'35.399 0.615 95.095
9 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 1'35.507 0.723 94.988
10 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 1'35.668 0.884 94.828
11 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 1'36.156 1.372 94.347
12 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 1'36.374 1.590 94.133
13 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 1'35.449 0.665 95.046
14 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 1'35.485 0.701 95.010
15 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 1'35.624 0.840 94.872
16 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 1'35.746 0.962 94.751
17 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 1'35.749 0.965 94.748
18 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 1'35.821 1.037 94.677
19 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 1'35.926 1.142 94.573
20 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 1'36.070 1.286 94.431
21 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 1'36.106 1.322 94.396
22 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 1'36.118 1.334 94.384
23 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 1'36.130 1.346 94.372
24 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 1'36.281 1.497 94.224
25 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 1'36.294 1.510 94.211
26 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 1'36.457 1.673 94.052
27 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 1'36.484 1.700 94.026
28 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 1'36.781 1.997 93.737
29 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 1'37.006 2.222 93.520
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 1'37.020 2.236 93.506
31 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 1'37.040 2.256 93.487
32 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 1'37.530 2.746 93.018
33 77 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 1'37.911 3.127 92.656
34 52 United States Cody Ware  Ford 1'38.432 3.648 92.165
35 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 1'38.719 3.935 91.897
36 51 United States J.J. Yeley  Ford 1'39.161 4.377 91.488
37 15 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 1'42.283 7.499 88.695
38 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet    
shares
comments
Adding the 'Carousel' to Sonoma Cup race appears to be a hit

Previous article

Adding the 'Carousel' to Sonoma Cup race appears to be a hit

Next article

Ty Gibbs uses bump and run to earn first ARCA victory

Ty Gibbs uses bump and run to earn first ARCA victory
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Sonoma
Drivers Kyle Larson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020