Kyle Larson beats Ross Chastain to Richmond Cup pole

Kyle Larson led a Chevrolet sweep of the front row for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

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Larson, the last of 10 cars to qualify in the final round on Saturday, posted an average lap speed of 117.177 mph to top fellow Chevy driver Ross Chastain (116.883 mph) for the pole.

It’s the third pole of the season for Larson, the reigning Cup Series champion, and 13th of his career. So far this season Larson has yet to turn a start on the pole into a win.

“I definitely got in there (Turns 1 and 2) a little too hot and got loose but I felt like I got through the center and off OK and was decent in (Turns) 3 and 4,” Larson said.

“I’m happy. It’s cool to get a pole here at Richmond – I was not expecting to do that. I didn’t think we were that good in practice, so I’m happy with the hard work everybody has been putting in on our Chevys.

“Now we’ll go chase another win.”

Denny Hamlin ended up third-fastest in a Toyota (116.485 mph), Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 starters for Sunday’s race are Martin Truex Jr., Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.

Blaney tagged the wall on the first of his two qualifying laps in the final round but the damage did not appear to be significant.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1 23.042     117.177
2 1 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 2 23.100 0.058 0.058 116.883
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 2 23.179 0.137 0.079 116.485
4 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 2 23.182 0.140 0.003 116.470
5 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 2 23.199 0.157 0.017 116.384
6 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 2 23.235 0.193 0.036 116.204
7 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 2 23.248 0.206 0.013 116.139
8 6 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 1 23.255 0.213 0.007 116.104
9 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 2 23.263 0.221 0.008 116.064
10 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 2 23.319 0.277 0.056 115.785

Round 1 / Group B

Hendrick teammates led the way in Group B with Larson posting the fastest average lap speed of 118.095 mph.

Bowman was second-fastest (117.822 mph) and Byron was third (117.734 mph). Keselowski and Custer rounded out the top-five and also advanced to the final round.

Among those who failed to advance out of Group B were Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace and Chris Buescher.

Round 1 / Group A

Blaney was last to make a quick lap in Group A and easily topped the chart with an average lap speed of 117.822 mph.

Hamlin was second-fastest (116.883 mph) and Truex was third (116.605 mph). Jones and Chastain was the final two drivers to advance to the final round.

Among those who failed to advance were Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez.

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