Kyle Larson

NASCAR News: Kyle Larson storms to pole on streets of Chicago

Kyle Larson made the most of his last chance in qualifying on Saturday, edging Ty Gibbs for the pole position for the Grant Park 165 NASCAR Cup Series on the Chicago Street Course.

Kyle Larson

On his final lap in the final round of time trials on the tight 2.2-mile course, Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet covered the distance in 87.836 seconds (90.168 mph) to outrun Gibbs (90.158 mph) by .010 seconds.

“It wasn’t perfect,” said Larson, who ran a track-record 90.496 mph (87.518 seconds) in the opening round. “It was better than my first lap (in the final round), but I think I had better grip potential on the first lap, so I wish I could have had a couple corners back there.

“Judging by the reaction from my spotter, it had to be pretty close on lap time, so really awesome to get a pole here in Chicago… (We’ve) checked the first box, and hopefully we can keep it going.”

The Busch Light Pole award was Larson’s series-best fifth of the season and the 21st of his career. His three victories this year, however, have come from starting positions of second, fourth and fifth.

Michael McDowell qualified third at 90.141 mph, followed by Tyler Reddick (89.923 mph) and defending race winner Shane van Gisbergen (89.813 mph).

“I was trying to get my Ford Mustang on the pole,” said McDowell, who won last year’s road race on the Indianapolis Grand Prix Course. “We were close, right? So proud of everybody. We made good changes in between Round 1 and 2 because I felt like Larson and SVG (van Gisbergen) sort of had everybody covered there.

“Then we went into that next round and made some gains and got close. You know what it means to get a pole and track position and all that. So we’re starting up front. We’ll have a great shot at it with the White Sox Ford Mustang.”

Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suárez and Brad Keselowski claimed starting positions six through 10, respectively, though Keselowski spun into the wall during his first final-round lap and was off the pace when he finished the circuit.

Denny Hamlin, last year’s pole winner for the Chicago Street Race, narrowly missed the final 10 and will start 11th on Sunday.

William Byron, a three-time winner this season, suffered a power steering failure in the first round, requiring a complete replacement of the steering system. Byron will start from the rear of the field on Sunday after repairs.

Harrison Burton, in his final season in the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford, ended the first round with a spin into a tire barrier, requiring a tow truck to remove the car. Josh Berry, named earlier in the week as Burton’s replacement next year, spun during the opening round and will start 36th in the 40-driver field.

2024 Chicago Street Course Starting Lineup

Pos No. Driver Team Time Speed
1 5 Kyle Larson Valvoline Chevrolet 87.836 90.168
2 54 Ty Gibbs Monster Energy Toyota 87.846 90.158
3 34 Michael McDowell Chicago White Sox Ford 87.862 90.141
4 45 Tyler Reddick Jordan Brand Toyota 88.075 89.923
5 16 Shane Van Gisbergen(i) Wendy’s Saucy Nuggs Chevrolet 88.183 89.813
6 23 Bubba Wallace McDonald’s Toyota 88.320 89.674
7 20 Christopher Bell CRAFTSMAN Racing For A Miracle Toyota 88.366 89.627
8 48 Alex Bowman Ally Chevrolet 88.759 89.230
9 99 Daniel Suarez Jockey x Folds of Honor Chevrolet 88.874 89.115
10 6 Brad Keselowski Elk Grove Village Ford 104.877 75.517
11 11 Denny Hamlin Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota 88.550 89.441
12 42 John Hunter Nemechek Dollar Tree Toyota 88.365 89.628
13 77 Carson Hocevar # Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet 88.600 89.391
14 1 Ross Chastain Busch Light Peach Chevrolet 88.402 89.591
15 3 Austin Dillon Get Bioethanol Chevrolet 88.955 89.034
16 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 88.478 89.514
17 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Dutch Boy Ford 89.010 88.979
18 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 88.481 89.511
19 8 Kyle Busch zone Chevrolet 89.071 88.918
20 7 Corey LaJoie Celsius Chevrolet 88.531 89.460
21 2 Austin Cindric Discount Tire Ford 89.073 88.916
22 14 Chase Briscoe Mahindra Compact Tractors Ford 88.580 89.411
23 51 Justin Haley Pinnacle Home Improvement Ford 89.197 88.792
24 19 Martin Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops Toyota 88.629 89.361
25 43 Erik Jones AdventHealth Toyota 89.228 88.761
26 38 Todd Gilliland gener8tor Ford 88.815 89.174
27 24 William Byron Relay Payments Chevrolet 89.230 88.759
28 10 Noah Gragson Bass Pro Shops Winchester Ford 88.920 89.069
29 41 Ryan Preece HaasTooling.com Ford 89.264 88.726
30 71 Zane Smith # Focused Health Chevrolet 88.963 89.026
31 21 Harrison Burton Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 89.387 88.603
32 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 89.159 88.830
33 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Mariano’s/Colgate Optic White Chevrolet 89.593 88.400
34 33 Austin Hill(i) United Rentals Chevrolet 89.167 88.822
35 31 Daniel Hemric Cirkul Chevrolet 89.608 88.385
36 4 Josh Berry # Overstock.com Ford 89.384 88.606
37 13 AJ Allmendinger(i) Benesch Chevrolet 90.236 87.770
38 60 Joey Hand BuildSubmarines.com Ford 89.496 88.496
39 66 Josh Bilicki(i) Purekick Hydration Ford 0.000 0.000
40 15 Kaz Grala # Remixers.com/Meat n’ Bone Ford 89.514 88.478
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