Kyle Larson continued his qualifying dominance at the Sonoma Raceway to take the pole for tomorrow’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver flexed his muscle yesterday by logging the quickest time in practice and came out on top in the 25-minute opening qualifying session.

He bided his time in the final 12-minute session as Joey Logano set the early pace with a lap of 1 minute 35.618 seconds. Larson took his hot lap in the final few minutes and dispatched Logano with ease with a lap of 1:35.712s.

The pole is Larson’s third in a row at the 2.52-mile natural terrain road course and the fifth for CGR, the other two at the hands of the recently retired Jamie McMurray.

Larson, who hails from nearby Elk Grove, California, hopes to change his fortune of qualifying well at Sonoma and coming across trouble in the race.

“I guess the trend of getting the pole and then struggling in the race,” he said. “I hope it’s not the same for tomorrow. I felt good. I had a mock run yesterday in practice. We ran a good lap and both of these two runs we ran good too. I felt like I over-drove the first session.

“In the next session, I said ‘Alright, I’m just going to calm down and not make any mistakes’ and I probably under-drove just a little. I felt like through the Carousel and Turn 7, I probably under-drove some and gave up a little bit of speed. But I felt like I made up some time in some other areas too.”

William Byron also exceeded Logano’s time to log his seventh front row start of the season. That knocked Logano back to third as Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott ended up fourth.

Daniel Suarez was the lone representative of Stewart Hass Racing in the top 12 and ended up fifth ahead of a trio of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. Denny Hamlin led the brigade in sixth ahead of a pair of two-time Sonoma winners in Kyle Busch in seventh and Martin Truex, Jr. in eighth.

Ryan Blaney ended up ninth which stands as his best qualifying performance in two months when he qualified seventh at Talladega. Chris Buescher completed the top ten – his best career road course starting spot.

Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman were the other two Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s in the top twelve and ended up 11th and 12th respectively.

Erik Jones encountered the only setback of the session when he cut a left rear tyre on his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry. That prevented him from laying down a hot lap and left him 32nd on the timesheet but will start from the rear of the field in a backup car.

 

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