A lot happened at the end of last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There’s not better way to relive it all then with the latest edition of Scan All.
With the second pole of his NASCAR Cup Series career, Kyle Larson will lead the field to green Sunday in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
Joining Larson the front row is Denny Hamlin.
Kyle Larson ended a three-year drought by winning the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series’ Auto Club 400.
Larson won his second Cup Series pole with a speed of 187.047 mph around Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. His first pole came in the August 2013 race at Pocono Raceway.
The pole continues Larson’s impressive start to 2017. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver leads the point standings after earning three consecutive second-place finishes.
“I felt like messed up there in Turn 1 and 2 and I got a little bit loose off the wall on the entry and it got me to split the seam in (Turn) 1 and 2,” Larson told Fox Sports. “I was able to commit to (being) wide open off (Turn) 1 and 2. I hadn’t ran up high in (Turn) 3 and 4 at all in practice or qualifying here. Didn’t really know what I would have out there but ran a good ways and it stuck. … Our Target team has been really amazing to start the season and to get a pole is great. … Got a little team dinner tonight, so this will be a good thing to celebrate.”
Larson’s run knocked Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin from the top spot. As Larson drove down pit road, a Fox Sports camera caught Hamlin playfully showing his dissatisfaction by emptying a cup of ice in the direction of the No. 42.
“This is No. 1 on my list of track I want to win,” Hamlin told Fox Sports. “It’s bitten me mentally and physically … definitely one I want to check off.”
Daniel Suarez qualified 10th for his best career Cup start.
Five cars did not make qualifying attempts, with one of them being by choice. Jimmie Johnson’s team elected not to make an attempt following his accident in practice. He will start 37th.
Following Jimmie Johnson’s accident in practice early Friday, Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 team chose not to qualify with a backup car at Auto Club Speedway.
Johnson, a six-time winner at Auto Club Speedway, will start 37th in Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
Four other cars, including those of Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne, will start in the back after they did not make qualifying attempts. Their cars failed to get through inspection in time. Rookie Gray Gaulding and Matt DiBenedetto also did not qualify because their cars failed to get through inspection.
Johnson explained his team’s decision.
“We had a tough practice session and mid-pack was probably going to be our goal anyway,” he said. “So, to take our lumps here, at a track that’s really wide with a lot of lanes, a long race; we’ll just take our lumps and get the car right where we can take advantage of the precious minutes that we have in Saturday’s practice session and go from there. Pit road is going to be a problem. We’re not going to have a great pick there. We’re definitely not in a position we want to be in, so we’d rather take the time now and make sure we get everything right and get this car right; and also kind of control our risk factor.”
With ACS being such a wide race track with plenty of passing opportunities, Johnson is not in as bad a position to start Sunday’s race as he would be at more narrow track.
Crew chief Chad Knaus told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang he wasn’t comfortable forcing Johnson to “hustle” to qualify a car he hadn’t practiced in.
Joey Logano was fastest in the final Xfinity Series practice session at Auto Club Speedway for the Service King 300.
Driving Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford, Logano put up a speed of 176.804 mph on his 19th of 35 laps in the session
Logan also had the best 10-lap average at 174.889 mph.