Larson Rockets to Monster Energy All-Star Race Pole
With no pit-road speed limit to slow him down Friday, Kyle Larson zoomed to the pole for Saturday's Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Larson - making his second start in the biggest All-Star event in sports - earned the pole ahead of Kyle Busch with an average speed of 143.839 mph over three laps and a four-tire pit stop in one minute, 52.636 seconds. Busch was second by just .01 seconds.
The pit crew for third-place qualifier Kevin Harvick earned the Pit Crew Challenge award for the fastest pit stop with a blistering, 13.279-second stop in Round 1.
Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five in time trials. Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified sixth for his final All-Star Race while Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray completed the top 10.
Saturday's 70-lap Monster Energy All-Star Race goes green at approximately 8:15 p.m.
KYLE LARSON, No. 42 Target Chevrolet (Pole Winner): "It was pretty intense for sure. It's not crazy intense like I thought it would be, but it was so much fun coming down pit road as fast as you can. My goal going in was just not to make any mistakes and finish in the top eight. The first round, I definitely under-drove coming to the pit stall. My lap was a little slow but my pit crew made up some time for us. I knew what I needed to do to go better. I picked up a little speed, came down pit road a little harder. Just tried not to make any mistakes. I knew everybody would try to push a little harder the last round. I just wanted to be mistake-free. My first attempt at it, it was pretty cool."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Caramel Toyota (Outside Pole): "It went smoothly the first (round) and the second one was pretty good for us. The car was fast and had good speed. We barely made it I thought (on pit road). It was close to the line but I got clearance from (crew chief) Adam (Stevens) that it was good. The second round we missed it by just a little bit. I hate it because I came to the box really, really slow. The car actually slowed down more than I anticipated. We had extra room there to charge in more but I missed an opportunity. We have a good starting spot. Hopefully, we can keep up front and get ourselves a good average finish."
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Bucks Ford (Third-Place Qualifier): "I felt like the car was a bit loose. I didn't get as much out of the car as I would've liked to, but still a decent lap. I don't even know how I got on to pit road. â€¦ Just really proud of everybody on our Busch Bucks Ford. We made it two rounds without any major mistakes, so that's pretty cool.