Kyle Larson on pole for Cup race at Bristol

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Kyle Larson won the pole position for Saturday’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway (6:46 p.m. ET on NBCSN) with a top speed of 127.792 mph around the half-mile track.

Larson bested Chase Elliott (127.665) and Kyle Busch (127.639) to earn his third pole of the season and the seventh of his career.

Paul Menard and William Byron rounded out the top five. Menard matched his best Bristol start from 2011 while Byron earned his career-best qualifying result in 24 starts.

“The top five there was tight,” Larson told NBCSN. “I saw William run his .04 there before I went out. ‘That’s going to be hard to beat.’ I would never have thought three other guys would squeeze between him and I for first and second. That shows how tough our sport is and our series is.”

Larson’s previous poles this year were at Dover and Sonoma. He has started on the front row in three of the last four Bristol races.

The top 10 was rounded out by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Jimmie Johnson qualified 13th. He was followed by Erik Jones, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Austin Dillon.

“We were really fast in the first round, it just didn’t really transfer over to the second round,” Jones, who won his first career pole in this race last year, told NBCSN. “Lost a lot of grip, lost a lot of speed. I think going early, the track was still a little bit hot, and we didn’t have quite a car that was ready for that.”

AJ Allmendinger qualified 25th and was followed by Kasey Kahne and Bubba Wallace.

B.J. McLeod failed to qualify.

Click here for qualifying results.

Kyle Busch wins Bristol Xfinity pole

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Kyle Busch will start first in tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:28 p.m. ET on NBCSN) after posting a top speed of 124.686 mph in qualifying.

It is Busch’s first pole in seven starts this season. It is his sixth Xfinity pole at Bristol.

The top five is completed by Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Matt Tifft.

Logano’s fourth-place start is the worst of his five Xfinity starts this year.

Elliott Sadler will start sixth, his best start at Bristol since 2014.

Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Ryan Reed, Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain were among those who did not advance to the final round.

Michael Annett will start 22nd after he spun and made light contact with the wall late in Round 1. He advanced to Round 2 but did not make a qualifying attempt.

Click here for qualifying results.

 

Denny Hamlin wins pole for Watkins Glen Cup race

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Denny Hamlin claimed the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Watkins Glen International (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC), putting down a speed of 125.534 mph.

The pole and lineup will not be made official until after post-qualifying inspection is complete Sunday morning.

It would be Hamlin’s first pole of the season and his first since last year’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It’s his first road course pole.

The top five was complete by Kyle Busch (125.427 mph), Chase Elliott (125.421), Martin Truex Jr. (125.252) and Kyle Larson (124.775).

“It was good, definitely wasn’t perfect by any means,” Hamlin told NBCSN of his pole run. “I was really conservative the first couple of runs through (Turns) 6 and 7. That looked like where I was getting beat the most. Knowing you’re going to qualify 12th at worst, you push it in those areas.”

Kyle Busch will start on the front row for the fifth time at WGI.

With his fifth-place start, Larson has an average start on road courses of fifth. His average finish is 18th.

Aric Almirola qualified seventh, a career-best on road courses.

Jimmie Johnson qualified 13th, followed by Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, William Byron, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer.

Click here for results.

Joey Logano wins Xfinity pole at Watkins Glen

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Joey Logano won the pole for today’s Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

Logano claimed the pole with a speed of 122.995 mph.

It is the eighth consecutive Watkins Glen pole for Team Penske and the fourth straight for Logano, a series record at WGI.

Logano will be joined on the front row by his teammate, Brad Keselowski (122.376 mph).

The top five is completed by Kyle Larson, AJ Allmendinger and Daniel Hemric.

Austin Dillon will start sixth, followed by Ryan Truex, Ryan Preece, Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer.

Austin Cindric will start from the rear in a backup car after he spun and hit the wall in the carousel early in Round 1 after posting the second-best speed.

Tyler Reddick will start 27th after he spun in the carousel in Round 1, but did not make contact.

Round 1 was briefly stopped after the right-rear tire came off the No. 90 of Brian Henderson.

Click here for qualifying results.

Kevin Harvick turns fastest lap at Pocono, then fails inspection

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Kevin Harvick continued his roll in NASCAR’s premier series, turning the fastest lap in qualifying Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

But his time was disallowed by NASCAR about 45 minutes later when his car failed prerace inspection, which happened after qualifying as the only official tech session of the Cup weekend.

Harvick, who is coming off a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, would have qualified first for the third time this season and the first time at Pocono.

Kyle Busch was second in the final round (but also had had his time disallowed), followed by Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano.

William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Brad KeselowskiJamie McMurray, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon rounded out the drivers who advanced to the last round.

Harvick’s No. 4 was the only Stewart-Haas Racing Ford that reached the final round as teammates Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer were eliminated in the second round. Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. (14th), who won at Pocono last month, also was knocked out of the final 12 late in the second round.

Among those who failed to advance from the first round was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (30th), who is 28 points behind Alex Bowman for the last provisional playoff spot with six races remaining in the regular season.

“Yeah, the car’s just not driving very good,” Stenhouse told NBCSN’s Marty Snider. “And it has no speed. We’re really just struggling.”