Kyle Larson to start from the pole in NASCAR’s Chicago street race

Kyle Larson to start from the pole in NASCAR's Chicago street race

CHICAGO − Kyle Larson made the most of his last chance in qualifying onSaturday, edging Ty Gibbs for the pole position for Sunday's Grant Park 165NASCAR Cup Series on the Chicago Street Course (4:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

On his final lap in the final round of time trials on the tight 2.2-milecourse, Larson's No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet covered the distance in87.836 seconds (90.168 mph) to outrun Gibbs (90.158 mph) by .010 seconds.

"It wasn't perfect," said Larson, who ran a track-record 90.496 mph (87.518seconds) in the opening round. "It was better than my first lap (in the finalround), but I think I had better grip potential on the first lap, so I wish Icould have had a couple corners back there.

"Judging by the reaction from my spotter, it had to be pretty close on laptime, so really awesome to get a pole here in Chicago … (We've) checked thefirst box and, hopefully, we can keep it going."

The Busch Light Pole award was Larson's series-best fifth of the season andthe 21st of his career. His three victories this year, however, have come fromstarting positions of second, fourth and fifth.

Kyle Larson (17) before the start of The Loop 121 at the Chicago Street Race.

Michael McDowell qualified third at 90.141 mph, followed by Tyler Reddick(89.923 mph) and defending race winner Shane van Gisbergen (89.813 mph).

"I was trying to get my Ford Mustang on the pole," said McDowell, who won lastyear's road race on the Indianapolis Grand Prix Course. "We were close, right?So proud of everybody. We made good changes in between Round 1 and 2 because I felt like Larson and SVG (van Gisbergen) sort of had everybody covered there.

"Then we went into that next round and made some gains and got close. You know what it means to get a pole and track position and all that. So we're starting up front. We'll have a great shot at it with the White Sox Ford Mustang."

Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and BradKeselowski claimed starting positions six through 10, respectively, thoughKeselowski spun into the wall during his first final-round lap and was off thepace when he finished the circuit.

Denny Hamlin, last year's pole winner for the Chicago Street Race, narrowlymissed the final 10 and will start 11th on Sunday.

William Byron, a three-time winner this season, suffered a power steeringfailure in the first round, requiring a complete replacement of the steeringsystem. Byron will start from the rear of the field on Sunday after repairs.

Harrison Burton, in his final season in the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford, endedthe first round with a spin into a tire barrier, requiring a tow truck toremove the car. Josh Berry, named earlier in the week as Burton's replacementnext year, spun during the opening round and will start 36th in the 40-driverfield.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NASCAR's Street race has Kyle Larson on pole


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