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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Kyle Larson Soars to Busch Pole Award in Dover Qualifying

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Kyle Larson sped to the Busch Pole Award in Friday afternoon qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Dover International Speedway.

Larson posted a final-round lap of 158.103 mph, putting his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet in the first starting position for Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM). The pole is his first of the season, first on the 1-mile Delaware track and the fifth of his Monster Energy Series career.

“We’ve always qualified good here, have yet to get a pole,” said Larson, who has finished second in this race the last two years. “Have raced well here and have yet to get a win, so maybe we’ll get both out of the way this weekend.”

Kevin Harvick will start second in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford after turning a lap of 157.494 mph. Martin Truex Jr., series points leader Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top five in the three-round qualifying format.

Jimmie Johnson, an 11-time Dover winner, will start 19th in Sunday’s race. Joey Logano, last week’s winner, also failed to make the final-round cut in qualifying and will start 18th.

Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne tied for the 24th spot in the first round of qualifying with identical speeds of 154.467 mph. Newman advanced to Round 2, with his higher position in the series standings (16th to Kahne’s 29th) breaking the tie. In a statistical oddity, both also posted identical times in their second laps in the first round.

The TriStar Motorsports No. 72 Chevrolet of Corey LaJoie did not post a lap in qualifying after experiencing mechanical trouble in opening practice.

Two more 50-minute practices are scheduled Saturday (8:30 and 11 a.m. ET, FS1) for the series before Sunday’s 400-miler.