BROOKLYN, Mich. – Kyle Larson surpassed 202 mph on Friday en route to capturing the pole for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
Larson, driving the No. 42 Cars 3/Target Chevrolet, was one of only two drivers to surpass 202 mph during qualifying for the FireKeepers Casino 400. Larson’s 35.616-second lap at 202.156 mph gave him the pole over Martin Truex Jr., who was second with a 35.623-second lap at 202.117 mph.
It’s Larson’s second pole of the year and third of his career.
“They (the team) made some good adjustments there for that final round,” said Larson, who earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Michigan last August. “I pretty good the first round, a little bit tight the second round. They went a step further freeing it up for the final round and the Cars 3 Chevy drove good. I could tell by the RPM in the engine that it was going to be a pretty good lap, so I was happy about that. To get the pole after winning here last year, I’m hoping we can keep it going.”
Clint Bowyer qualified third, matching his best qualifying effort of the season. Kyle Busch’s two-race pole streak was snapped, but he’ll still start fourth. Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
Ryan Blaney, last Sunday’s race winner at Pocono Raceway, qualified sixth. Joey Logano will start seventh followed by Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.
Harvick was fastest in the opening round of qualifying with a 35.756-second lap at 201.365 mph. Larson was second fastest followed by Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Truex.
JTG Daugherty Racing teammates Chris Buescher and A.J. Allmendinger were the first two drivers who failed to advance to round two.
Harvick was fastest again in the second round, leading the way with a 35.667-second lap at 201.867 mph. Truex was next, followed by Busch, Larson and Hamlin.
Johnson was the first driver who failed to advance to the final around of qualifying, followed by Erik Jones and Kurt Busch.
One driver, Landon Cassill, failed to make a qualifying lap after crashing during practice. He’ll start last in the 37-car field.