Kyle Larson starts on the front row at Talladega

Tladega, Ala. – Kyle Larson will be on the front row for the 500-mile NASCAR Cup Series qualifying race on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Larson’s lap of 180.516 mph in the final round of qualifying in his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was good for second on the starting grid.

Noah Gragson, who will replace Alex Bowman, will line up seventh in Ally’s No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Bowman is out this weekend after experiencing concussion-like symptoms following a crash Sept. 25 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Related: Fast facts, exact information you need to know about Talladega

William Byron would take to the grid from ninth in his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. On Friday during the pre-qualifying inspection, the No. 24 team failed twice. As a result, auto chief Tyler Jones was fired for the remainder of the race weekend. The team also forfeits its stall selection for Sunday’s race.

Chase Elliott lines up 16th in the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Elliott hit a win at Alabama in the spring of 2019 – one of 13 wins at the organization’s track owned by Rick Hendrick.

Christopher Bell grabbed pole position and would start on the front row with Larson.

Larson (+23) and Elliott (+11) enter this race—the middle event in the Round of 12—over the cut-off line in third and seventh, respectively, in the standings. Byron (-8) sits just down the line in 10th after a 25-point penalty—currently on appeal—from racing at Texas Motor Speedway. Bowman sits 12th and 26th in points below the elimination line.

Related: How the Hendrick Motorsports drivers stack up in the playoffs for Talladega

At this year’s spring race on the biggest oval in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports led 70 out of 188 laps (37%). Byron raced the field for the 38 circuit race and won the second stage, while Larson held the points position for 32 laps. Larson (4.77), Byron (4.87) and Elliott (7.84) had three of the four best running positions in the race. The team spent 44% of its laps in the top five and 72% of its laps in the top ten. On superspeedway), Elliott finished seventh while Bowman finished ninth. It was the fourth time in team history that at least three of its drivers have placed in the top ten at Talladega.

In the season’s five drafting races with the 2022 SuperSpeed ​​rules package—two at Daytona International Speedway, one at Talladega and two at Atlanta Motor Speedway—Hendrick Motorsports has won twice. Byron and Elliott won in Atlanta in March and July, respectively. In fact, Byron (192 laps lead) and Elliott (156 laps lead) finished first and second in drafting races this season.

Related: A Talladega wild card awaits the foursome

Catch the Round of 12 Intermediate race on Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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