Kyle Larson nipped Kyle Busch by one-hundredth of a second to win his first Monster Energy All-Star Race pole Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It was Larson’s first attempt at the qualifying format, which features three laps at a pit stop where there is no pit road speed limit.
“I knew everybody would try to push a little bit harder that last round,” Larson said of the two-round session. “I just wanted to be mistake-free. My first attempt at it was pretty cool.”
Kevin Harvick will start third and be followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.
“As you look at the lap we probably could have run a couple tenths faster there, but, all in all, our goal was to not make any huge mistakes,” Harvick said. “I feel like starting up front with the way that the tires are and the way that everything is will be a huge benefit.”
The top five advanced to the second round and that determined the pole-winner. Kurt Busch had the fastest time over three laps and a pit stop but was penalized 10 seconds for two loose lug nuts, dropping him to fifth.
Johnson overshot his pit stall and had to back up. He was assessed a five-second penalty for his crew going over the wall too soon.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start sixth in his final All-Star Race.
Ryan Newman provided a smoke show with his qualifying run. As he began his attempt to enter the pits for his mandatory four-tire pit stop, Newman lost control of his No. 31 Chevrolet and slid sideways through Turn 4, producing a cloud of smoke. But Newman regained control and rocketed down pit road to make his stop.
Newman will start 15th Saturday night after a loose lug nut was found on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.‘s car, knocking five seconds off his time.
Click here for All-Star qualifying results
While Saturday will mark the sixth straight year the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there will be significant changes.
Among the changes: the use of restrictor plates, as well as adding aero ducts to aid cars with the draft.
On Tbursday’s edition of NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman took a spin around the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway — on the NBCSN iRacing Simulator, that is — to show how some of those changes will impact the cars and potentially the race.
Check it out in the video above.
Friday will be somewhat of an easy, relaxing day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Cars will only take to the track twice in the afternoon — both being Xfinity Series practice sessions, which will be on the NBC Sports App.
IMS will host the NASCAR Cup Fan Fest from 4:30 – 8 p.m. ET, followed by the NASCAR Cup hauler parade that will see transporters enter the Speedway around 9 p.m. ET.
Here’s the rest of Friday’s schedule (all times Eastern):
FRIDAY, JULY 21
9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open
1 – 1:55 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)
3 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)
What does a sky diver and Olympic-caliber swimmer have in common?
They make their living on NASCAR’s pit road, that’s what.
Check out two of this week’s pit crew all-star nominees, as seen on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.
On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, several of the stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series tried to explain in three words what to expect with the use of restrictor plates in this Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
See what they said and what they’re thinking about Saturday’s race in the video above.