Kyle Larson‘s second career Xfinity pole came at Bristol Motor Speedway, the same track where he earned the first in 2014.
With a track record of 127.988 mph (14.992 seconds), Larson drove his No. 42 Chevrolet to the pole for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.
It’s the first Xfinity pole for Chip Ganassi Racing since 2008.
“I know it’s cool to get a pole, but I’d like to be in the back so I could work the top in quick,” Larson told Fox Sports 1. “I thought I would be top four or five, I didn’t know if I’d have the speed to be on the pole. I though (Erik Jones) would be a lot faster than he was in qualifying … Hopefully we can get the race in today. The radar and forecast look bad but it hasn’t been racing.”
Filling out the top five is Austin Dillon, Cole Custer, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier.
Larson has been upfront about his desire to make the high lane work while the bottom lane has been coated with VHT to make it the desired lane for drivers.
“It’s hard when you run so many cars and laps on the bottom, it put marbles up top and takes a longtime for those to get picked up,” Larson said. “Hopefully when this race starts people mid-pack to the back will try to work the top groove up some.”
Custer and Allgaier were fastest in the first and second rounds respectively.
Drivers starting outside the top 12 include Brennan Poole, Darrell Wallace Jr., Blake Koch, Elliott Sadler, Brandon Jones, points leader William Byron and Ryan Reed.
A notable qualifying effort came from Ross Chastain, who will start 11th matching his career best start from Kentucky (2015) and Dover (2016). The JD Motorsports driver, who has 79 Xfinity starts, was second fastest in the first round in his No. 4 Chevrolet.
“Here definitely, our lap times were all within a tenth of each other, so it’s driving good,” Chastain told FS1. “We worked on some long-run stuff, longer than I normally do, yesterday. Hopefully the rain holds off, that’s all we can do.”
Like Larson, Chastain said he’s tried working in the top groove.
“Unfortunately, I think we’re back to old Bristol, which was before I ever ran it,” Chastian said. “I’m probably going to get run into. You can look at this GK logo right here and it’ll probably be crumpled after the race. Hopefully my right front is too because I’m going forward.”
With the threat of rain, NASCAR has moved up the scheduled green flag for the race by 10 minutes to 1:03 p.m. ET.
Click here for the full qualifying report.