cloudy.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 5:38PM

Larson speeds to pole for Martinsville elimination race

By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
  Contact Editor

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kyle Larson backed up last Sunday’s victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a pole-winning run at Martinsville Speedway.

Though Larson has been eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, he’ll lead the field to green in the race to decide which three drivers will join Joey Logano in the November 6 Championship 4 event at Phoenix Raceway.

After locking up on his first lap in the final round, Larson was less aggressive on the lap that gave him his fourth pole of the season, his first at Martinsville and the 14th of his career.

“I kind of backed it down the second lap,” said Larson, who navigated the tight paper-clip-shaped .526-mile short track in 19.709 seconds (96.078 mph). “I feel like a lot of times here slower is faster.

“I was just trying to be smooth with it. I’m surprised that I did anything good here at Martinsville. It’s a good start so far, and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow.”

Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Chase Briscoe tied for second fastest at 19.721 seconds (96.019 mph), with Elliott getting the front row nod because of higher standing in owner points. Elliott is 11 points above the current cutoff for the Championship 4 round. Briscoe is 44 points below, needing a victory to advance to the title race.

Playoff driver Ryan Blaney qualified fourth at 95.927 mph. Non-Playoff drivers claimed five of the next six positions, with ninth-place qualifier Ross Chastain the only other title-eligible driver to advance to the final round.

Denny Hamlin, five points behind William Byron for the final Championship 4 spot, will start 11th on Sunday. After a disappointing qualifying effort, Byron will take the green from 25th, five positions behind Christopher Bell, another Playoff driver in a likely must-win situation.

Notes: Though Larson has been eliminated from the drivers’ championship, his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is still eligible for the owners’ title… Larson has started first at Martinsville on two previous occasions that don’t count as poles won. He was first in owner points in 2017 when time trials were rained out, and he started first in 2021 when grid positions were determined by metrics.

WDUN will carry live MRN Radio coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway at 1 pm on 102.9 FM and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NASCAR Cup Series
Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, VA
Xfinity 500 – October 29, 2022

Saturday’s Qualifying Results

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1. 5 Kyle Larson HendrickCars.com Chevrolet 19.709 96.078
2. 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 19.721 96.019
3. 14 Chase Briscoe (P) Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford 19.721 96.019
4. 12 Ryan Blaney (P) Discount Tire Ford 19.740 95.927
5. 41 Cole Custer HaasTooling.com Ford 19.780 95.733
6. 6 Brad Keselowski Kohler Generators Ford 19.783 95.719
7. 99 Daniel Suarez Worldwide Expess Chevrolet 19.810 95.588
8. 4 Kevin Harvick BOOsch Light Ford 19.822 95.530
9. 1 Ross Chastain (P) Moose Fraternity Chevrolet 19.828 95.501
10. 21 Harrison Burton # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 19.933 94.998
11. 11 Denny Hamlin (P) FedEx Freight Direct Toyota 19.763 95.815
12. 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 19.766 95.801
13. 34 Michael McDowell Fr8Auctions.com Ford 19.788 95.694
14. 7 Corey LaJoie ARK.io Chevrolet 19.825 95.516
15. 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 19.829 95.496
16. 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 19.839 95.448
17. 48 Noah Gragson(i) Ally Chevrolet 19.845 95.420
18. 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Halloween Toyota 19.849 95.400
19. 38 Todd Gilliland # Moji Sushi Ford 19.861 95.343
20. 20 Christopher Bell (P) DeWalt Toyota 19.882 95.242
21. 16 A.J. Allmendinger(i) Pardon My Cheesesteak Chevrolet 19.888 95.213
22. 17 Chris Buescher Fifth Third Bank Ford 19.891 95.199
23. 43 Erik Jones U.S. Air Force Chevrolet 19.898 95.165
24. 45 Bubba Wallace Leidos Toyota 19.924 95.041
25. 24 William Byron (P) Liberty University Chevrolet 19.942 94.955
26. 23 Ty Gibbs(i) Monster Energy Toyota 19.943 94.951
27. 19 Martin Truex, Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 19.958 94.879
28. 8 Tyler Reddick 3CHI Chevrolet 19.980 94.775
29. 31 Justin Haley LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 19.987 94.742
30. 2 Austin Cindric # Menards/Richmond Ford 19.998 94.689
31. 47 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kroger/Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet 20.086 94.275
32. 42 Ty Dillon U.S. Space Force Chevrolet 20.103 94.195
33. 77 Landon Cassill(i) Nations Guard Chevrolet 20.210 93.696
34. 78 B.J. McLeod(i) Motorsport Games Halloween Ford 20.247 93.525
35. 15 J.J. Yeley(i) Rad Cats Ford 20.356 93.024
36. 51 Cody Ware Nurtec ODT UBCF Ford 20.840 90.864

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (P) Playoff driver

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, NASCAR Cup
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, Motorsports Live On WDUN, NASCAR Cup Series
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.