NASCAR at Charlotte 2021 Qualifying Results: Kyle Larson Takes Pole for Coca-Cola 600

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 29, 2021

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 28: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Metro Tech Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Kyle Larson earned pole position for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 after posting the best time during Saturday's single-lap qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

Larson, who earned the ninth NASCAR Cup Series pole of his career and his first since 2019, narrowly edged out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by seven-thousandths of a second in order to take the top spot.


The perfect lap.<br><br>RETWEET to congratulate @KyleLarsonRacin on his #BuschPole win! pic.twitter.com/UAB3GffG9D

Here's a look at the top 10 finishers from Saturday's qualifying:

1. Kyle Larson (5)

2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47)

3. Chase Elliott (9)

4. William Byron (24)

5. Kevin Harvick (4)

6. Austin Dillon (3)

7. Alex Bowman (48)

8. Martin Truex Jr. (19)

9. Daniel Suarez (99)

10. Ross Chastain (42)

Larson said it's "pretty cool" to secure a pole in a year when NASCAR is only running qualifying events at select tracks:


.@KyleLarsonRacin will have plenty of friends around him to start the #CocaCola600.@teamhendrick places three cars in the top four! pic.twitter.com/wHimpuQ3uI

It's a continuation of a recent upward trend in performance for the Hendrick Motorsports driver, who finished second in the Cup Series' last three races at Darlington, Dover and the Circuit of the Americas.

The 28-year-old California native picked up a win back in March in Las Vegas, and he's finished inside the top 10 in nine of the 14 races so far in 2021. He's third in the standings behind Denny Hamlin and Byron.

Meanwhile, Stenhouse will hope the strong showing in qualifying can provide the spark his season needs after five straight finishes of 20th or worse. His only top 10 came on the Bristol dirt in late March.

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Stenhouse is good at Charlotte. He has finished top-5 in two of the last three Charlotte oval races. Not too surprised he's starting second. @NASCARONFOX

Take the overall qualifying results with a grain of salt, however, as several drivers said on the Fox Sports broadcast they were focused on fine-tuning their cars for race conditions rather than worrying about their starting spot heading into the Cup Series' longest race of the year.

The Coca-Cola 600 green flag is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox.