Rookie Kyle Larson secures maiden Sprint Cup pole

Kyle Larson set a new track record as he snagged pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono.

Rookie sensation Kyle Larson will lead the Sprint Cup field to the green flag in Sunday's race after securing the first pole of his career. He set a new track record in the process with a lap of 49.063 seconds (183.438mph).

I thought my lap was damn near perfect, and then I got beat

Joey Logano

Larson actually led the field to the green flag at Richmond earlier this year, but that was due to inclement weather that forced NASCAR to rely on practice speeds. Larson finished fifth at Pocono in June after starting back in 14th place. He told reporters after qualifying that he 'had butterflies in that last round.'

Penske's Joey Logano will start alongside, followed by teammate Brad Keselowski. Former Pocono winners Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five. They are followed by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Danica Patrick. 

"I thought my lap was damn near perfect, and then I got beat," said Joey Logano. He then added "It felt so good, I would have put millions of dollars on that lap being the pole. I felt like I nailed all three corners."


At the very start of the session, Greg Biffle was forced to return to the pits for what NASCAR called a 'blend line violation.' Moments later, Clint Bowyer went for a spectacular slide out of the first corner. He summoned those old dirt track skills he acquired and somehow held on. He would go on to qualify 14th.

Towards the end of the opening round, Jimmie Johnson was also hit with a blend line violation. The team scrambled to cool the car as time began to dwindle. He managed to make one final run at it and just barely escaped elimination. 

Greg Biffle was knocked out in the final seconds by Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr., joining his other teammate Carl Edwards on the outside looking in. Edwards actually got into the wall and then had a bit of a misadventure through the grass as he tried to post a faster a time.


The second round was much calmer than its predecessor. Four-time Pocono winner Denny Hamlin ended up missing the final round by a few hundredths, allowing Danica Patrick to join her teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch in the fight for pole position.


In the final five minute session to decide the most important spots on the grid, Kyle Larson was able to lay down an untouchable lap. Brad Keselowski was the final driver to make a time, but came up short of the top when the checkered flag finally flew. Joey Logano missed out on the pole by just eight thousandths of a second.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Pocono II
Sub-event Friday qualifying
Track Pocono Raceway
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Denny Hamlin , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Joey Logano , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch , Kyle Larson
Article type Qualifying report