Kyle Larson edges Kyle Busch for All-Star pole

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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

Entry lists for All-Star events; Truck race at Charlotte

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Twenty-one drivers are entered for the NASCAR Open, seeking to either race their way in or receive the fan vote to the All-Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star spot: Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.

Among those seeking to make their way through the Open are: Chase Elliott (fourth in points), Clint Bowyer (10th) and Ryan Blaney (11th).

Joey Logano won last year’s All-Star Race.

Click here for entry list for Open race

There are 33 entries for Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte. Among those entered are Kyle Busch and NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman.

Matt Crafton won last year’s race. Johnny Sauter enters the event as the points leader with a two-point advantage on Christopher Bell.

Click here for Truck entry list

 

Cup starting lineup at Kansas Speedway

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Ryan Blaney scored his first career Cup pole and gave the Wood Brothers their first pole since 2004 and only second since 1984.

Joey Logano starts second in Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway.

The second row features Martin Truex Jr. and Talladega winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The third row features the Busch brothers with Kyle Busch fifth and Kurt Busch sixth.

Three Hendrick cars were among the 11 that failed inspection and did not make a qualifying attempt. Jimmie Johnson starts 29th, Kasey Kahne starts 31st and Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts 33rd in the 40-car field.

Click here for Cup starting lineup

Ryan Blaney wins first Cup pole; 11 cars fail inspection, don’t make a qualifying attempt

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Ryan Blaney scored his first career NASCAR Cup pole Friday at Kansas Speedway and gave the Wood Brothers their first pole since 2004 with Ricky Rudd.

Blaney earned the top spot for Saturday night’s race after a lap of 189.600 mph. Joey Logano (189.540 mph) will start second, giving Ford the front row.

The pole earns Blaney a spot in next year’s Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

“We got better and better each round,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1. “Honestly, I didn’t think I got through that lap that great.”

Martin Truex Jr. (189.201) qualified third. He’s followed by Talladega winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (188.851) and Kyle Busch (188.495).

Twenty-one cars were in inspection when qualifying started. Among those were: Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Clint Bowyer’s car goes though inspection during qualifying Friday at Kansas Speedway. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Eleven cars hat did not make it through inspection before the first round ended, including those of Earnhardt, Kahne, Johnson, Bowyer and Jones.

“Super disappointing,” Bowyer said. “You are off 10-thousandths of an inch. It is ridiculous. Most people can’t even understand how little that is. I get it. If you are off, you are off, but I watched my guys move the car and adjust the car accordingly for it and then actually overcompensate on it because we were worried about not making it. Then they wheel it back in and fail the exact same amount? Twice? That makes no sense. None.”

Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, told Fox Sports 1 that a majority of the issues for teams were with the Laser Inspection Station.

“Competitors are pushing the limit and they’re not making it,” Miller told Fox Sports 1. “It’s disappointing I’m sure, to a lot of the competitors that they weren’t able to qualify, but it’s disappointing to us that they aren’t presenting their cars in a way that they make it through inspection. Kind of the worst of both worlds actually.”

In the most recent race at a 1.5-mile track — Texas in April — nine cars failed to make it through inspection before the first round of qualifying ended. Among those were Earnhardt and Kahne.

Michael McDowell‘s team did not make an attempt. He blew an engine at the end of the final Cup practice session. With McDowell guaranteed a starting spot, the team elected to focus on the engine change.

Click here for qualifying results

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NASCAR America: Jack Roush sits down with Jeff Burton to talk his team’s big win

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Very few people know Jack Roush better than his former driver and now NBC Sports analysts Jeff Burton.

Burton sat down with Roush a few days after Ricky Stenhouse Jr.‘s big win at Talladega Superspeedway to discuss his team’s revival this season, two years after their last win.

“It’s hard to keep your chin up sometimes through a drought, but you have to have the spirit and people’s excitement to drive you to heights they might not otherwise reach,” Roush said.

Roush and Stenhouse’s breakthrough win came after the team contracted two Cup cars prior to this season. With Greg Biffle‘s departure, Roush’s hopes are behind Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne.

“We thought as we recommitted ourselves and got ourselves organized on 2017, that we need to focus on the two young drivers and not focus on Greg’s program,” Roush said. “I was limited in the number of talented people I had for pit crew, I was limited in the number of talented people I had for engineers and technical positions. I thought it was better to concentrate the efforts on two programs, rather thin them on three.”

Watch the video for the full exclusive interview.