AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP)Kyle Larson won the pole Saturday for the NASCAR Cup Series’ United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday.
Larson’s 130.237 mph lap in his No. 5 Chevrolet was another positive for Hendrick Motorsports, which finished 1-2-3 in Las Vegas last weekend, led by race winner William Byron.
Larson won the Cup championship in Phoenix in 2021. Byron qualified third for Sunday’s race in his No. 24 Chevrolet.
Larson had the final car to hit the track in the last round of qualifying on Saturday and edged Denny Hamlin, who will start on the outside of Row 1 in his No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Larson also had the fastest car in practice Friday.
Brad Keselowski will start fourth while Christopher Bell rounded out the top five.
“Qualifying is really important here,” Larson said. “We got the pole in ’21 and that really helped us win the championship race. I think that No. 1 pit stall means a lot, so happy to be quick this weekend, quick in practice and have it translate to qualifying.”
It hasn’t all been good news for Hendrick’s team this week. NASCAR officials took the hood louvers from the four Hendrick cars – including Larson’s and Byron’s – on Friday and will bring them to the Research & Development Center in North Carolina for inspection.
Any potential penalties would be announced next week.
Kevin Harvick, who is trying to win his 10th career race in Phoenix, qualified 15th.
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