After closing round one of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway with his series-leading sixth win of the season, Kyle Larson kicks off round two at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the pole for the South Point 400 on Sunday.
“It’s nice going back to a track we’ve won at before,” Larson said. “We were really good at Vegas earlier this year, so definitely excited to go back and hoping we have similar speed. The temperature will be much warmer this weekend, so that changes things but our team has been really good at adapting to every situation this year. Hopefully, we can prepare well and have another good car and battle for the win.”
Larson is seeking a season sweep of LVMS as the track’s most recent Cup Series winner earlier this season.
Ryan Blaney starts alongside Larson on the front row. One of Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates, William Byron starts in the third position, sharing row two of the grid with Martin Truex Jr.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that we had the performance we did in Bristol and were able to advance on,” Byron said.” I knew this team was capable of it but to be able to execute it in a game-seven-style situation is even more impressive. Now we’re moving on and turning or focus to the next round. These upcoming tracks are ones that have always been good for us but they also can be wildcards in their own respective, especially Talladega and the Charlotte Roval. That’s why it’s even more important for us to go to Vegas, execute everything and maximize points. We don’t want to start this round off in a hole like we did the first round. Myself and Rudy ([Fugle, crew chief] would rather play offense through these next three races than have to worry on defending points. Vegas is crucial, in my mind, to determine how you play the rest of the round. Hopefully, we come out with a win and the only points that matter for the next two races are playoff points.”
The 12 playoff drivers that remain after the Bristol elimination race start in the top-12 positions at Las Vegas, including Kevin Harvick in the fifth position.
“Las Vegas has a lot of tire fall off, so it’ll be important to have a good-handling Subway Delivery Ford Mustang,” two-time Las Vegas winner Harvick said. “It’s also a track where you’re constantly moving around trying to find the right grip.”
Starting sixth through 10th are Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, three-time LVMS winner Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.
SOUTH POINT 400 STARTING LINEUP