ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Kyle Larson made his mark ahead of Hendrick Motorsports’ first NASCAR Xfinity Series start in 13 years as he nabbed the pole position for Saturday’s race at Road America.

Larson’s speed of 108.495 mph in the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro was fifth-tenths faster than Ty Gibbs for the top spot ahead of Saturday's 180-mile event (2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The 29-year-old placed fourth in the practice session that preceded qualifying.

"I felt really good in practice," Larson said after his fifth Xfinity Series pole. "I was kind of stuck in some traffic so wasn’t able to put down a fast lap, but our long run stuff looked really, really good. Excited about that. Hoping we can go and learn a lot over these two days but ultimately get a win."

For the Xfinity Series race, Larson will be paired with crew chief Kevin Meendering. This is not the first time the two have worked together. The Hendrick Motorsports veteran filled in last week as the crew chief on Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in the NASCAR Cup Series and helped to guide the team to a fourth-place finish. That race marked the first of four that will see Meendering on top of the box for the suspended Cliff Daniels. 

RELATED: Meendering hopes to aid Sunday results with Xfinity efforts

"It can only benefit you," Larson said of working with Meendering and having the same voice in his ear for both Road America events. "The suspension stuff was unfortunate for us but an extra race with Kevin (Meendering) in my ear, it can only help for this weekend."

Saturday's start will be Larson’s first in the Xfinity Series in nearly four years with his most recent appearance in the series coming in 2018. He has 12 career Xfinity Series victories but none have come on a road course. 

The 14-turn, 4.048-mile venue will also be Hendrick Motorsports’ first Xfinity start since 2009. The organization has tallied 26 wins in the series with Tony Stewart winning the last start made to date for the team at Daytona International Speedway. The No. 17 car number for these three races carries special significance to the Hendrick Motorsports family as it was the number that the late Ricky Hendrick drove over two seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 2000 to 2001. The paint scheme is based on the truck he drove those seasons, including in his win at Kansas Speedway. 

"It’s just very special with the number of the car and the paint scheme, paying tribute to Ricky (Hendrick)," Larson said. "Rick (Hendrick) and Linda (Hendrick) both are very excited to see the car on track and hopefully in victory lane."

The Road America race marks one of three Xfinity events that Hendrick Motorsports will enter the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro in this season. Alex Bowman is set to drive the car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on July 30 and William Byron will pilot the ride on Aug. 20 at Watkins Glen International. The main impetus behind the program was to get drivers more seat time on road courses and tracks with unique configurations. 

"We gave drivers the opportunity to give us input on tracks where they felt like they needed more laps or more repetition," Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports told last month. "Obviously, road courses are something to where the timing of the brake and throttle and getting yourself familiar with that environment is helpful. So they came back to us with all of the road course events. We went to JRM (JR Motorsports) and got them in cars that they had available for certain road course events and the ones that they didn’t, we decided to do those ourselves."

RELATED: Road course track time motivates Xfinity entry

Larson is slated to run another road course race – at Watkins Glen – in a JR Motorsports car. He will also drive for JRM at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 3 in the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro