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Kyle Larson Powers To Cup Pole In Michigan

| , RacinToday.com Friday, June 16 2017

Kyle Larson will start P1 at Michigan on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

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Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing drove to the pole on Friday for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Larson laid down a lap in 35.616 seconds/202.156 mph in the waning minutes of the third and final round of knock-out style qualifying.  The pole is Larson’s third in 126 starts, his first pole at MIS, and his second pole thus far this season.

“It was a good qualifying run for us,” Larson said. “We were fast in practice and we were pretty good that first round.  Ran about the same, a little bit faster the second round and then picked up a lot of speed there for the final round.  Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and the engineers made some good adjustments there for the final round.  It was fun to go fast out there and have a lot of grip.  Starting from the pole is going to be a big deal.  Track position is always important here at Michigan and looking forward to it.”

Second fastest in qualifying was Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing. Truex’s fast lap was at 202.117 mph.

“Little bit disappointed there, but Kyle (Larson) went out late and got us, so it was a good day. Excited to have Auto-Owners back on the car this weekend. They’ve been a really good luck charm for us – we’ve won two out of four races running this blue car, so we’re excited about that. We’ll see what we can do. Staying in qualifying trim all day just seems to suit us – we stay focused on one thing and we can get it right and tomorrow we’ll switch over and do race stuff, so looking forward to it. Love racing here at Michigan and hopefully have a good weekend.”

Clint Bowyer of Stewart Haas Racing was third fastest. That matched his best qualifying run of the season.

Afterward, he confirmed he has one fast car this weekend.

“I think we ended third in practice,” Bowyer said. “Real proud of the guys. They did a great job. We had a little bit of a hiccup on the first lap and made some adjustments and got the most out of the second and third sessions. Real proud of everyone on the Stewart-Haas Fords. I think they’re all strong. (Kevin) Harvick must have gone for it and probably washed up on him.

“He was extremely fast too. Good day. I am really proud of the guys. We had a little bit of a mistake the first lap but after that the second and third rounds were really good. We were really good, have been good since we unloaded off the truck. The car has great speed. It makes good grip and that comes from downforce and hard work in the aero department. At a track like this, horsepower is a big thing.”

Rounding out the top five were Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Friday, June 16 2017
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