Qualifying rained out; Larson will start from pole at Richmond
Strong thunderstorms washed out Friday’s Sprint Cup Series knockout qualifying session at Richmond International Raceway, which put rookie Kyle Larson on the pole for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400.
With no qualifying, the lineup was set by speeds from Friday’s first Cup series practice session. Larson was fastest in the practice session, followed by Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick.
“We were debating before practice on whether to start off in qualifying or race trim. I was pretty confident we would be fast,” Larson said. “It’s nice to start off on the pole.
“Not sure I’ll count this as my first official pole, but it’s great to start on the front row.”
Michael McDowell and Dave Blaney failed to make the 43-car field.
Larson’s previous best start in the Cup series was eighth earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway.
“I just felt like I needed to sort of have a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now,” Petty said Friday at Richmond.
Petty’s typically busy schedule returned to some normalcy this week, with appearances on Monday in Georgia, Tuesday in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming. “The busier they keep me, the better off I will be,” he said.
Proceeds from the race benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports research for cystic fibrosis.
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Hamlin and David Ragan – the four Cup series drivers in the race – finished fourth, fifth, eighth and 20th, respectively.
In his previous four series starts, Wallace has one pole and three top-10 finishes. His worst start was 12th.
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