Larson takes pole for Coke 600 at Charlotte

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 29: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Metro Tech Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson kicked his Memorial Day Weekend into high gear Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway winning the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Larson led the way in a Hendrick Motorsports-dominated qualifying session, earning what was his first Charlotte pole and his first pole on a 1.5-mile track.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified second, with Chase Elliott and William Byron — two of Larson’s Hendrick teammates — third and fourth. Kevin Harvick qualified fifth and Austin Dillon sixth, while Alex Bowman’s seventh-place effort put all four Hendrick cars in the top seven.

Two-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Martin Truex Jr. qualified eighth with Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain completing the top 10.

Brad Keselowski, the defending winner of the Coca-Cola 600, qualified 13th for Sunday’s race.

“Our teammates were a little more trimmed out than we were, so we thought they were going to have more raw speed,” Larson said. “That’s why we didn’t think we’d get the pole, but once I was out there and I felt like I had more grip than I had yesterday, I thought that if I could keep it straighter than I was yesterday and hold it wide-open easier, maybe I’d have a shot at the front row. Sometimes, it’s good to exceed expectations.”