NASCAR at Sonoma 2019 Qualifying Results: Kyle Larson Wins Pole Position

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 21: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, poses with the Fastest Lap Award following practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 21, 2019 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Kyle Larson claimed the pole for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday.

Larson posted a time of 94.784 seconds and top speed of 95.712 mph during the final round of qualifying. He narrowly edged out William Byron, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez, who round out the top five.

Here's the full race order, with each driver's final qualifying time:

        

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Lineup

1. Kyle Larson (94.784)

2. William Byron (94.827)

3. Joey Logano (94.878)

4. Chase Elliott (94.898)

5. Daniel Suarez (95.260)

6. Denny Hamlin (95.287)

7. Kyle Busch (95.367)

8. Martin Truex Jr. (95.399)

9. Ryan Blaney (95.507)

10. Chris Buescher (95.668)

11. Jimmie Johnson (96.156)

12. Alex Bowman (96.374)

13. Michael McDowell (95.449)

14. Clint Bowyer (95.485)

15. Aric Almirola (95.624)

16. Kurt Busch (95.746)

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (95.749)

18. David Ragan (95.821)

19. Matt DiBenedetto (95.926)

20. Ryan Preece (96.070)

21. Ryan Newman (96.106)

22. Brad Keselowski (96.118)

23. Kevin Harvick (96.130)

24. Paul Menard (96.281)

25. Daniel Hemric (96.294)

26. Austin Dillon (96.457)

27. Corey Lajoie (96.484)

28. Matt Tifft (96.781)

29. Parker Kligerman (97.006)

30. Bubba Wallace (97.020)

31. Ty Dillon (97.040)

32. Erik Jones (97.530)

33. Justin Haley (97.911)

34. Cody Ware (98.432)

35. London Cassill (98.719)

36. JJ Yeley (99.161)

37. Ross Chastain (102.283)

38. Reed Sorenson (0.000)

       

Larson and his crew have cracked the code to qualify at Sonoma. This is the third straight year in which he has captured the pole for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series event at the famous road course. In addition, he has never started lower than fifth.

That qualifying success hasn't translated into the races themselves, though. He placed 14th in the 2018 edition, having only led two of the 110 laps, and hasn't finished better than 12th in five previous tries.

"I've won three races in a row at one track; I'd rather be doing that, but it's cool to get another pole at my home track," the Elk Grove, California, native said, per Performance Racing Network. "I haven't raced well here, but I've always qualified well here. Being close to home is nice, as well."

Larson could use a strong result Sunday. He has 369 points and sits 15th in the playoff standings, one spot away from the cutoff. Getting a win would guarantee Larson a playoff berth, while at least cracking the top 10 would mean moving up the standings.

Should the trend this season hold, Larson will have to wait another week for his first checkered flag. Of the eight drivers to win a pole in 2019, Logano is the only one who went on to victory. He won the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 10.

Kevin Harvick has been particularly snakebitten. Harvick remains winless despite sitting on the pole three times. He was fourth in the Pennzoil 400 and Toyota Owners 400 and then ended the Digital Ally 400 in 13th in the three occasions he was the pole-sitter.

With 539 points, Harvick is a comfortable seventh in the playoff standings but fourth in overall points. Getting to Victory Lane in Sonoma would mean he doesn't waste his impressive start.

Harvick will have a tough task ahead. Over the past five years, the winning drivers lined up in second, 12th, 10th, 11th and fourth. By its nature, Sonoma doesn't make it easy to make up a ton of ground for those in the middle of the pack.

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