SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson cannot be crushed these days in qualifying at Sonoma Raceway, and he hopes his latest superiority results in the same stretch of dominance within the race.
Larson will begin on the pole for the fifth straight time within the NASCAR Cup Collection race at his dwelling monitor after edging Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott on Saturday in qualifying on the hilly highway course in wine nation.
Larson, who turned a lap at 92.11 mph in his Chevrolet, has received 4 consecutive poles for the race at Sonoma since 2017. There was no race in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and NASCAR did not maintain qualifying in 2021, however the Sacramento-area native nonetheless began up entrance alongside Elliott by way of the choice system used final yr.
Larson capitalized final yr by successful the race in time beyond regulation. The defending Cup Collection champion even stunned himself this yr along with his surge to the entrance of the sector on the tough course that challenges drivers to shortly work out its twists and quirks.
“I really feel like I might have run fairly a bit sooner,” Larson stated. “On my good lap, I made a fairly large mistake in Flip 4. I used to be stunned I ran the lap that I did, as a result of it was such an enormous mistake.”
Elliott was a fraction of a second behind Larson, and Chris Buescher certified a formidable third after lacking final week’s race at Gateway due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at. Michael McDowell completed fourth forward of Tyler Reddick, whereas Cole Custer got here dwelling sixth.
The leaders have been no shock, given the circuit and circumstances: Larson received on three highway programs final season, whereas Elliott has collected seven of his 14 profession victories on highway programs.
The Sonoma course has returned to the 1.99-mile Chute structure after racing with the longer Carousel flip within the earlier two editions of the Cup Collection race.
Whereas sure drivers expressed clear preferences for each setups in the course of the day, Larson stated he did not notably care which structure was used, feeling assured on each.