NASCAR Cup Qualifying: Kyle Larson Holds Off Chase Elliott to Take Pole for Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Speedway


BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – AUGUST 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, laughs on the grid prior to a weather delayed restart of the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 07, 2023 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Hendrick Motorsports driver, Kyle Larson, has won the pole position for the Toyota Owners 400 race at Richmond Raceway. The HMS driver clocked the fastest lap time of 22.438 out of the 10 entries that made it into the final round. This was Larson’s 17th career pole and his first of the season. Joining him in the front row will be his teammate, Chase Elliott, who barely missed out on grabbing the pole himself.
From the first qualifying round in Group A, Joey Logano was the fastest of the bunch and interestingly, three Chevrolets were amongst the fastest five entries going into the next round. Group B cars were quicker across the board and clocked better laps. Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace led the charge with quicker speeds.
Kyle Larson is eyeing his second win of the season in Richmond
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After William Byron swept the qualifying and race wins at the Circuit of the Americas, Kyle Larson has carried on a good run for the team Chevy as well as HMS. Having already secured a win early in the season at Vegas, the #5 team is now among the prime contenders for tomorrow’s race.
Another big positive for HMS was that Chase Elliott has finally found his speed. With a lap time of 22.440, he will make his first front-row start of the season. This will give him a good shot at getting back to winning ways after a long drought. In a surprising turn of events, big names like Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell weren’t able to clear group qualifications. Hamlin will start in the 11th position.
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While Bubba Wallace and Ty Gibbs did make the cut they were far from the faster-running Chevrolet cars on the racetrack today.
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Drivers who managed to break into the top 10 starting positions
In the front row, we have the HMS pairing of Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. Behind the leaders in the second row, we have last race’s front-row starter, Ross Chastain, and yet another HMS driver, Alex Bowman. Carrying the Toyota banner, Bubba Wallace takes up the 5th position in row three alongside Todd Gilliand. Gilliland was one of the surprise packages of the qualifying rounds.
In the fourth row, we have a pairing of Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, with Martin Turex Jr in seventh place and Ty Gibbs in eighth. None of the Ford drivers were able to break inside the top ten places for the start at COTA, but we have three for the Richmond race. Austin Cindric and Joey Logano finished in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively.
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It will be the battle between the quick JGR Toyotas and the reliant HMS Chevys when the green flag drops tomorrow at Richmond Raceway.


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