Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Larson, Truex Take Top 2 Spots in Michigan Qualifying

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Larson, Truex Take Top 2 Spots in Michigan Qualifying

Article excerpt

BROOKLYN, Mich. * Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. are neck and neck at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series standings.

Now, they're set to start at the front for this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway.

Larson won the pole Friday and Truex qualified second, another impressive showing for a duo that's been so consistently strong this season. Truex is first in the standings, one point ahead of Larson. Everyone else is more than 100 points behind.

Larson also had the fastest car in practice Friday, and he won at this track last August after finishing third in June.

"Hopefully, we can keep it going," he said. "So far it's been a really good weekend leading in practice and then getting the quick time here."

Larson won his second pole of the season and third of his career. This will be his fourth chance to start from the pole this year, but two of them came when qualifying was called off because of the weather.

Larson posted a lap of 202.156 mph in his No. 42 Chevrolet.

Truex is first in the points standings despite being without a pole this year. He started second in the past two races at Pocono and Dover, and earlier in the season at Las Vegas.

"We've got to figure out how to go from second to first," Truex said. "Really all year long, I think we've had a really good qualifying average. Guys have done a really good job on Fridays."

Clint Bowyer was third in qualifying, followed by Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, last week's winner .

The victory by Larson at Michigan last year was his first on NASCAR's top circuit. He added another this season at Fontana and has six top-five finishes in 2017.

"I think I've probably grown a little bit as a driver. I feel like our race team has gotten even better. Our race cars have been a lot faster," Larson said. "They were pretty fast leading up to Michigan last year, but I feel like since Michigan when we got that win we have just continued to make them better and had a great offseason and started the year off really good. …

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