Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Takes Xfinity Pole at COTA

Kyle Larson claimed the NASCAR Xfinity Series pole for the Focused Health 250 at Circuit of the Americas on Friday evening (March 22) with a new track record of 92.946 mph.

Larson won his seventh career Xfinity pole in what will be his first start of the 2024 season in the No. 17 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. He’ll share the front row on the race on Saturday, March 23, with another Chevy driver in Shane van Gisbergen. SVG’s average speed was 92.65 mph, and he was one of three Kaulig Racing to make the final round of qualifying.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates make up row two with Ty Gibbs qualifying third and Phoenix Raceway winner Chandler Smith taking fourth. Kaulig’s AJ Allmendinger, the two-time defending winner at COTA, qualified fifth.

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Sage Karam, Sheldon Creed, Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric and Sam Mayer rounded out the top 10. Hemric practiced and qualified the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevy on behalf of Josh Williams, who was with his wife on baby-watch. Williams will race the car on Saturday.

Justin Allgaier recovered from a spin on his initial qualifying lap in Group B to qualify 15th for Saturday’s event.

Kaz Grala and Preston Pardus were the two drivers of 40 entries who failed to qualify. Pardus practiced well, finishing 10th on the leaderboard, but didn’t have the speed in qualifying.

FOCUSED HEALTH 250 STARTING LINEUP

The Xfinity Series takes the green flag on Saturday, March 23, at 5 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1 and PRN.

About the author

James Krause joined Frontstretch in March 2024 as a contributor. Krause was born and raised in Illinois and graduated from Northern Illinois University. He currently works in La Crosse, Wisconsin as a local sports reporter, including short track racing. Krause is a fan of football, auto racing, music, anime and video games.

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Tom

I hope SVG wins. There’s no need for Hendrick to field an Xfinity entry if he’s just going to put his Cup drivers in it. He should give that 17 to Rajah Caruth.

Echo

Larson wanted the practice for the cup race. He got it.

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