It has been a great season for current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson. On Friday, he stormed to his first Coors Light Pole Award for the annual Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN) at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, turning a lap of 143.830 mph in the unique three-lap and pit stop format.
Despite a slip by his right rear tire changer, Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet team avoided any penalties and will start on the pole for Saturday night’s race at the 1.5-mile North Carolina track.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver led 18 laps in last year’s race before losing the lead in the final laps to eventual race winner Joey Logano.
Kyle Busch will start alongside in his No. 18 Toyota, as he turned a lap of 142.826 mph. Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch will start third through fifth respectively.
The pit stops usually pose problems, which is why teams lose time for being penalized. Johnson, overshot his pit and also had a five-second penalty when his crew was over the wall too soon.
Kurt Busch’s crew left two loose lug nuts and lost 10 overall seconds, five for each infraction.
In session No. 1, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Logano all overshot their pits. Also, Martin Truex Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. left one lug nut unsecured.
Four more drivers will join these guys in the All-Star race on Saturday night. Three will transfer from the Monster Energy Open and one will be added as a fan vote.
Monster Energy All Star Race Starting Lineup:
Row 1: Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch
Row 2: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson
Row 3: Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Row 4: Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth
Row 5: Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray
Row 6: Chris Buescher, Joey Logano
Row 7: Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr.
Row 8: Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.