March 18, 2018

Kyle Larson takes pole for All-Star race after Kurt Busch blunder

20 May 2017, 12:40 | Joan Schultz

He will start fifth because only five drivers advanced to the second and final round.

The Furniture Row Racing rookie turned in some strong laps in this 1-1/2 hour practice for Saturday evening's Monster Energy Open. "We just won the Texas race and the Richmond race a couple weeks before, so we really were just amazed to be in the race, we didn't think we were going to win it".

It was Larson's first pole in his first attempt at All-Star qualifying. Will last week's bad optics cost her this time? Logano seemed likely to bump the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series leader from the fast five until he carried too much speed onto pit road, overshot his stall by more than a full pit box and had to back up for service.

Martin Truex Jr. scored his second win of the season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas last Saturday night.

Kyle Larson said he nearly changed out of his driver suit when he thought he no longer had a shot in qualifying on Friday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s retirement announcement last month shocked the racing world, and this weekend, he will drive in his final NASCAR All-Star Race.

"I went into turn three a little bit hesitant to try to just see what was going on with the auto and it just - it was backward as soon as I let out of the gas - really weird", Hamlin said. We will have to just wait and see.

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"I wasn't expecting to qualify this good", said Larson.

A year ago, Kyle Larson led 18 laps of the NASCAR's All-Star Race before eventual victor Joey Logano passed him with two laps remaining.

NASCAR has once again tweaked the rules. One new option: Cars can pit to take softer tires before the final stage, but they will have to start in the back.

The All-Star race will have four segments - 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps then a 10-lap finale.

The strategy will be whether to use them early to get into the final 10-lap shootout or wait until the end. "I feel like starting up front with the way that the tires are and the way that everything is will be a huge benefit". "I ran my first race here", he said.

He said drivers also love it because they can throw out the rulebook - not the whole thing, obviously, but it's part of what makes the race different.

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