Larson wins pole at home track in Sonoma; Truex to start 2nd
SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson proved again that he knows his way around Sonoma.
Larson claimed the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race on his home track for the second straight year, turning a lap at 94.597 mph in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on Saturday.
Larson earned his sixth career pole and his second on the familiar road course at Sonoma Raceway. The 25-year-old driver grew up in the Sacramento suburbs and attended races at this track as a fan of fellow Northern Californian Jeff Gordon.
“Qualifying here is one of my favorite things of the year,” Larson said. “I’m glad we could pick up a lot of time there and get the pole.”
Larson edged Martin Truex Jr., who will start on the front row after turning a lap at 94.484 mph. Chase Elliott qualified in third, and Larson teammate Jamie McMurray was fourth.
Although Larson enjoys this track, he still hasn’t won a NASCAR race here. He didn’t finish better than 12th in his first four races, and he finished 26th last season in a typically contact-filled race after starting from the pole.
“Well, I have a long ways to go to get better at racing here,” Larson said. “I can always qualify good here for some reason, but racing seems to be a struggle, for whatever reason. I smoke the tires off it. I’ve been working hard to get better each and every year.”
STEADY TRUEX: The defending Cup Series champion remains dependable in qualifying. Truex has 11 starts in the top 10 this year, with three poles and five front-row starts. He finished in the top 10 at Sonoma for the sixth time in 13 career races.