RICHMOND, Virginia — Kyle Larson will lead the starting lineup at Richmond Raceway to the green flag Sunday afternoon after earning his third pole position of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
The No. 5 Chevrolet driver turned a 23.042-second lap around the 0.75-mile oval on the final attempt of the final round of qualifying.
Ross Chastain was second (23.100 seconds), followed by Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney for Sunday’s race (2 p.m. ET, USA Network).
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for how they will line up at Richmond l By car number
QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for how drivers fared at Richmond
With three races remaining in the regular season, Blaney is second in points but on the cutline of making the 16-driver playoff grid with 15 of the slots occupied by race winners.
Truex, who is fourth in points but also winless, was bumped out of a provisional playoff spot this past Sunday when Kevin Harvick won at Michigan.
Hamlin won the most recent race at Richmond, triumphing April 2 at his hometown track by capitalizing on tire strategy. He will be making his 21st top 10 start at Richmond.
After capturing his 13th career pole position in NASCAR’s premier series, Larson had to dash off to Knoxville, Iowa, where he will be defending his title in the prestigious Knoxville Nationals sprint car race.
Larson was flying with Chastain and Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks (who provided the plane). Larson already has qualified for the A main feature.
“The schedule couldn’t have been much worse,” Larson said of NASCAR qualifying ending barely two hours ahead of hot laps for the A main. “And I knew it was going to be this late before the season ever started. So I was hoping it would change eventually before we got to this weekend, but it still leaves me just enough time to make it in time to run.”
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Richmond Cup starting lineup: Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain on the front row originally appeared on NBCSports.com