BRISTOL, Tenn – The end of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday from the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway saw the quickest speeds. Kyle Larson knocked Martin Truex Jr. off the provisional pole late in the session with a top lap of 129.004 mph in his No. 42 Chevrolet. But, one qualifier later, Larson’s lap around the .533-mile concrete oval was topped.
Denny Hamlin circled the Tennessee race track with a speed of 129.930 mph in his No. 11 Toyota to earn his 31st career Busch Pole Award, four of which coming in Bristol. It was also the first time this season that a Toyota car earned the top starting spot for a Cup race as it’s fitting that their hottest driver in the camp gave it to them.
Hamlin, ties his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate of Kyle Busch for 24th on the all-time poles list.
Larson, joins Hamlin on the front row for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Truex Jr (128.995 mph) will roll off third in his No. 19 Toyota. Truex, hasn’t scored a top five finish in Thunder Valley since 2012 but is looking for his fifth straight top six finish on the season despite that.
Last year’s winner Kurt Busch (128.813 mph) will start fourth in his No. 1 Chevrolet to give Chip Ganassi Racing half of the top four starters. Busch, also finished runner-up to his brother Kyle in the spring race back in April.
Aric Almirola (128.770 mph) rounded out the top five in his No. 10 Ford.
The Penske trio of Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski will start 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. Jimmie Johnson will start 30th in his No. 48 Chevrolet while Busch, who’s won three of the last four Cup races at Bristol starts way back in 31st.
Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Starting Lineup
Row 1: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson
Row 2: Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch
Row 3: Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott
Row 4: Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick
Row 5: Erik Jones, Alex Bowman
Row 6: Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney
Row 7: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman
Row 8: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., David Ragan
Row 9: Daniel Hemric R, Daniel Suarez
Row 10: Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer
Row 11: William Byron, Darrell Wallace Jr.
Row 12: Ryan Preece R, Ty Dillon
Row 13: Paul Menard, Corey LaJoie
Row 14: Matt Tifft R, Michael McDowell
Row 15: Chris Buescher, Jimmie Johnson
Row 16: Kyle Busch, Landon Cassill
Row 17: BJ McLeod, Quin Houff
Row 18: Josh Bilicki, JJ Yeley
Row 19: Reed Sorenson, Kyle Weatherman
Row 20: Ross Chastain