Kyle Larson wins NASCAR Cup Series pole at Martinsville

Non-playoff driver Kyle Larson won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Martinsville Speedway.

Larson had the day’s fastest speed — 96.078 miles per hour.

Saturday’s qualifying set the field for Sunday’s 500-lap race, which will determine the rest of the four-driver field for next weekend’s championship race at Phoenix Raceway. Joey Logano reached the Phoenix final four by winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Larson’s time of 19.709 seconds put the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 in the first starting position alongside second-fastest Chase Elliott, his Hendrick teammate.

Elliott was the fastest qualifier among the playoff group. Other playoff drivers: Chase Briscoe, third; Ryan Blaney, fourth; and Ross Chastain, ninth.

The pole is the 14th of Larson’s career and his fourth this season.

MORE: Martinsville Cup qualifying results

MORE: Martinsville Cup starting lineup

Larson, Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney made the final round of qualifying from Group A. In Group B, Cole Custer, Harrison Burton, Briscoe, Kevin Harvick and Chastain reached the final round.

Following Larson and Elliott in the top 10 were Briscoe, Blaney, Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick, Chastain and Harrison Burton.

Denny Hamlin led practice with a speed of 95.079 miles per hour but failed to make the final round of qualifying.

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