Kyle Larson went from sixth to first on the first lap of his heat race on the Bristol dirt, earning him enough points (14) to win the pole for Sunday’s race.
The heat races set the starting lineup for the Food City Dirt Race by awarding drivers points for passing as well as their finishing position.
It is Larson’s second pole of the season and 16th of his Cup Series career.
He’ll will be joined on the front row by Austin Dillon — winner of the first heat race.
JJ Yeley starts third for Rick Ware Racing. Yeley went from ninth to third in his heat. Sunday will the first time he has started in the top five in a Cup Series race since 2007, when he won the pole at Michigan driving for Joe Gibbs.
“They went well,” Yeley said after his heat race. “We obviously didn’t know what to expect. I tried to roll the bottom on our first two little hot laps, just judging off the previous heat race. The car didn’t feel very good, so I’m a dirt guy by nature and I knew all of those guys were going to fight for the bottom, so I said, ‘The heck with it.’ I was going to go to the top and the car handled really, really good up there.
“It took me a couple of laps to get into a rhythm. It felt like I might have been just a little bit better than the leaders once we got into third, and then I started overdriving and it just takes one little mistake to give up everything that you gained. To come from the back and finish third, I think it’ll be good for points and put us somewhere near the front half… I’m thinking anything can happen here tomorrow.”
Christopher Bell starts fourth and Kyle Busch starts fifth. Busch is the defending winner of the Food City Dirt Race.
Tyler Reddick starts sixth, Austin Cindric seventh, Ryan Preece eighth, Ryan Blaney ninth, and William Byron 10th.
NASCAR Cup Series points leader Ross Chastain starts 16th.
Jonathan Davenport starts 21st in his Cup Series debut, driving the No. 13 for Kaulig Racing.
Matt Crafton starts 24th for Rick Ware Racing. Crafton is substituting for Cody Ware, who is taking care of a personal matter.
There are 37 drivers entered at Bristol.