Larson seals NASCAR Cup Series pole in Iowa

Kyle Larson will start from the pole for the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Larson was the final driver to make a qualifying lap on Saturday afternoon in a session that was shortened to one round because of rain earlier in the day. The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet claimed the pole with a speed of 136.458mph (23.084s).

“Obviously, I’m happy to get the pole,” Larson said. “It helped to go out last, probably. I’m sure the track was continuing to get a little bit better. We got to watch SMT of everybody’s runs, so that helps. But it also makes you a little bit more nervous when you see everybody out there struggling.


“Thankfully, my lap was mostly comfortable; a little bit loose like everybody was. But we were able to piece together two pretty consistent laps and be fast enough on that second lap to get it done.”

It is Larson’s series-leading fourth pole of the season and the 20th of his Cup Series career. Larson has been the hottest driver in the series lately, winning last weekend at Sonoma Raceway and leading the overall championship point standings and in playoff points.

Ryan Blaney will join Larson on the front row. Blaney qualified second with a lap of 136.311mph.

Josh Berry qualified third at 135.916mph and William Byron qualified fourth at 135.595mph. Brad Keselowski completed the top five qualifiers at 135.338mph.

Chase Briscoe qualified sixth with a lap of 133.046mph, Kyle Busch qualified seventh at 132.928mph, Tyler Reddick qualified eighth at 132.872mph, and Chase Elliott qualified ninth at 132.637mph. Christopher Bell completed the top 10 qualifiers at 131.887mph.

Bell will drop to the rear of the field for Sunday’s race. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is in a backup car after hitting the Turn 4 wall in practice because of a right-front tire failure.

Joey Logano qualified 11th and Denny Hamlin qualified 12th. Chris Buescher qualified 15th.

Austin Cindric qualified 21st in his backup car after a right-front tire failure in practice. However, Cindric will drop to the rear of the field for the start of the race.

Ty Gibbs qualified 27th. Gibbs was the first driver to have a tire failure in practice.

NEXT: Iowa Corn 350 at 7 p.m. ET Sunday (USA).

Story originally appeared on Racer