Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Kyle Larson earned pole position
for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 after posting the best time during
Saturday’s single-lap qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway in
Concord, North Carolina.
Larson, who earned the ninth NASCAR Cup
Series pole of his career and his first since 2019, narrowly edged
out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by seven-thousandths of a second in order to
take the top spot.
Here’s a look at the top 10 finishers
from Saturday’s qualifying:
1. Kyle Larson (5)
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47)
3. Chase Elliott (9)
4. William Byron (24)
5. Kevin Harvick (4)
6. Austin Dillon (3)
7. Alex Bowman (48)
8. Martin Truex Jr. (19)
9. Daniel Suarez (99)
10. Ross Chastain (42)
Larson said it’s “pretty cool” to
secure a pole in a year when NASCAR is only running qualifying events at
It’s a continuation of a recent upward
trend in performance for the Hendrick Motorsports driver, who
finished second in the Cup Series’ last three races at Darlington,
Dover and the Circuit of the Americas.
The 28-year-old California native picked up a
win back in March in Las Vegas, and he’s finished inside the top 10
in nine of the 14 races so far in 2021. He’s third in the standings
behind Denny Hamlin and Byron.
Meanwhile, Stenhouse will hope the
strong showing in qualifying can provide the spark his season needs
after five straight finishes of 20th or worse. His only top 10 came
on the Bristol dirt in late March.
Take the overall qualifying results
with a grain of salt, however, as several drivers said on the Fox
Sports broadcast they were focused on fine-tuning their cars for race conditions rather than worrying about their starting spot heading into the Cup
Series’ longest race of the year.
The Coca-Cola 600 green flag is
scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox.