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Kyle Larson wins Cup pole at Phoenix

Kim Coon, Nate Ryan and Kyle Petty explain how less down force gives the illusion of adding horse power to the car, and predict how this might impact the driving at Phoenix Raceway.

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kyle Larson won his first pole of the season Saturday at Phoenix Raceway and will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag Sunday.

Larson, who was fastest in Friday’s practice, qualified at 130.237 mph. His result came a day after NASCAR announced that it took the hood louvers (vents in the hood) for further evaluation from all four Hendrick Motorsports cars after practice. NASCAR took the hood louvers from Justin Haley’s car before qualifying Saturday.

NASCAR stated that there if there were to be any penalties for any of those cars, those would be announced next week. Hendrick had two of the top three cars in qualifying and will have all four start in the top 20. Haley qualified 26th.

MORE: Phoenix Cup starting lineup

Denny Hamlin joins Larson on the front row after a lap of 129.931 mph. Larson’s teammate, William Byron, qualified third at 129.922 mph. Brad Keselowski qualified fourth at 129.762 mph. Christopher Bell completed the top five at 129.580 mph. Ross Chastain, who talked about his team’s struggles in practice Friday, rebounded to qualify sixth at 129.394.

Josh Berry, filling in for the injured Chase Elliott, qualified 17th at 129.889. He’ll be joined in the ninth row by teammate Alex Bowman (129.956).