Thursday, June 30, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma starting lineup: Kyle Larson wins fourth-straight Sonoma pole

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Kyle Larson won the pole for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in qualifying on Saturday, earning his second pole of 2022 and his fourth-straight at Sonoma. Larson laid down a fast lap of 90.42 mph in the final round of qualifying, beating out Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott as well as Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, and Tyler Reddick. Larson’s pole is his first since February, when he won the pole for the Daytona 500.

A native of nearby Elk Grove, California, Larson has started first at Sonoma every year since 2017. Larson has won the pole for this race the last four times qualifying has been held, and also started first in 2021 when the field was set by a qualifying algorithm rather than time trials. Larson won last year’s race at Sonoma from the pole, leading 57 of 92 laps.

While Larson and Elliott made for an all-Hendrick front row, row two will be comprised of two pleasant surprises. Chris Buescher, who returned to RFK Racing’s No. 17 after missing Gateway with COVID, qualified third. Meanwhile, Michael McDowell qualified fourth to earn his best career starting spot through time trials.

One car did not post a lap in qualifying. Cody Ware’s car failed pre-qualifying tech inspection four times, meaning he was disallowed from making a qualifying attempt and will have to serve a drive-through pit penalty at the start of Sunday’s race. Meanwhile, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reported that Christopher Bell suffered a vibration in his steering during practice and qualifying, and he will now start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field as his team makes changes to his car’s steering components.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 starting lineup

  1. #5 – Kyle Larson
  2. #9 – Chase Elliott
  3. #17 – Chris Buescher
  4. #34 – Michael McDowell
  5. #8 – Tyler Reddick
  6. #41 – Cole Custer
  7. #1 – Ross Chastain
  8. #99 – Daniel Suarez
  9. #22 – Joey Logano
  10. #11 – Denny Hamlin
  11. #45 – Kurt Busch
  12. #18 – Kyle Busch
  13. #3 – Austin Dillon
  14. #12 – Ryan Blaney
  15. #14 – Chase Briscoe
  16. #16 – A.J. Allmendinger
  17. #15 – Joey Hand
  18. #31 – Justin Haley
  19. #48 – Alex Bowman
  20. #24 – William Byron
  21. #10 – Aric Almirola
  22. #6 – Brad Keselowski
  23. #4 – Kevin Harvick
  24. #38 – Todd Gilliland (R)
  25. #2 – Austin Cindric (R)
  26. #21 – Harrison Burton (R)
  27. #23 – Bubba Wallace
  28. #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
  29. #77 – Josh Bilicki
  30. #7 – Corey LaJoie
  31. #20 – Christopher Bell
  32. #47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  33. #43 – Erik Jones
  34. #42 – Ty Dillon
  35. #78 – Scott Heckert
  36. #51 – Cody Ware

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