Tuesday July 5th, 2022 5:07PM

Kyle Larson takes NASCAR Cup Series pole at Sonoma

By Holly Cain-NASCAR Wire Service
  Contact Editor

Defending race winner Kyle Larson will start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway from the same position he finished the race last summer – leading the field.

Larson earned his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series pole position at the 1.99-mile Northern California road course on Saturday afternoon with a blistering lap of 91.935 mph.

Even after qualifying, Larson said, he hadn’t even shown all the speed his car was capable of – rough news for the field.

“It was good, and I was a bit surprised, because I felt like I gave up a lot of time in turns 4 and 7, so had I had those two corners back, I felt like I could have went quite a bit faster,” said the Elk Grove, California native, who has now won four pole positions at Sonoma.

“Thanks to everyone on our team. Excited about it.”

Joining Larson on the front row is Chase Elliott, who among active drivers has a series-best seven road course wins but is still looking for his first victory at Sonoma Raceway.

Chris Buescher and Michael McDowell turned in an inspired qualifying effort and will comprise the second row on the grid. It’s the best start of the season for McDowell, who is an accomplished road racer.

Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer will start from the third row, followed by Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez. Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin – driving the lone Toyota in the final round of qualifying – will round out the top-10.

Larson is the only driver among the top-10 with a previous win at the track.

Three-time Sonoma winner Martin Truex, Jr., the winningest active driver at the track, will roll off 28th. His former championship-winning crew chief, Cole Pearn is working as an engineer this week for the No. 19 team.

His teammate, the only other active multi-time winner at Sonoma, two-time winner Kyle Busch just missed advancing to the final round of qualifying. He will start in 11th place, right alongside his older brother Kurt Bush. Kurt is a former winner at Sonoma as well.

NASCAR’s road course ace A.J. Allmendinger will start 16th. Renowned sports car racer Joey Hand qualified in 17th in his second NASCAR Cup Series start of the season. Todd Gilliland was the fastest rookie and will 24th.

WDUN will carry live PRN Radio coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Sonoma Raceway beginning at 3 pm on 102.9 FM, AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NASCAR Cup Series
Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, CA
Toyota/Save Mart 350 – June 11, 2022

Saturday’s Qualifying Results

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1. 5 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 77.776 92.111
2. 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 77.799 92.083
3. 17 Chris Buescher Fifth Third Bank Ford 77.938 91.919
4. 34 Michael McDowell Love’s Travel Stops Ford 77.941 91.916
5. 8 Tyler Reddick Lenovo Chevrolet 78.021 91.821
6. 41 Cole Custer Autodesk/ Ford 78.070 91.764
7. 1 Ross Chastain Worldwide Express Chevrolet 78.137 91.685
8. 99 Daniel Suarez Onx Homes/Renu Chevrolet 78.148 91.672
9. 22 Joey Logano Autotrader Ford 78.276 91.522
10. 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 78.515 91.244
11. 45 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Toyota 78.244 91.560
12. 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Crunchy Cookie Toyota 78.275 91.523
13. 3 Austin Dillon True Velocity Chevrolet 78.319 91.472
14. 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Knauf Ford 78.472 91.294
15. 14 Chase Briscoe Ford Performance Racing School Ford 78.507 91.253
16. 16 A.J. Allmendinger(i) Goldfish Casino Slots Chevrolet 78.572 91.178
17. 15 Joey Hand Built Ford Proud Ford 78.578 91.171
18. 31 Justin Haley LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 78.603 91.142
19. 48 Alex Bowman Ally/Better Together Chevrolet 78.664 91.071
20. 24 William Byron Chevrolet 78.691 91.040
21. 10 Aric Almirola Farmer John/FoodMaxx Ford 78.706 91.022
22. 6 Brad Keselowski Kohler Power Reserve Ford 78.829 90.880
23. 4 Kevin Harvick GEARWRENCH Ford 78.857 90.848
24. 38 Todd Gilliland # Chicago Pneumatic Compressors Ford 79.065 90.609
25. 2 Austin Cindric # America’s Tire Ford 79.300 90.340
26. 21 Harrison Burton # DEX Imaging Ford 79.315 90.323
27. 23 Bubba Wallace DoorDash Toyota 79.337 90.298
28. 19 Martin Truex, Jr. Bass Pro Shops Toyota 79.356 90.277
29. 77 Josh Bilicki(i) Pacific Coast Termite Chevrolet 79.493 90.121
30. 7 Corey LaJoie GNARLY Premium Cut Jerky Chevrolet 79.544 90.063
31. 20 Christopher Bell DeWalt Toyota 79.553 90.053
32. 47 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet 79.617 89.981
33. 43 Erik Jones FOCUSfactor Chevrolet 79.711 89.875
34. 42 Ty Dillon Allegiant Chevrolet 80.037 89.509
35. 78 Scott Heckert Pala Casino Ford 81.171 88.258
36. 51 Cody Ware Nurtec ODT Ford 0.000 0.000

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

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