BROOKLYN, Mich. – Kyle Larson will lead the Hendrick Motorsports contingent to the green flag in Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
The 30-year-old Elk Grove, California, native is set to start eighth for the 23rd points-paying event of the 2022 season. In the final round of qualifying, the driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 put down a lap of 188.605 mph.
Larson won three straight races in the Irish Hills from August 2016 to August 2017. It is one of two tracks where the reigning Cup Series champion has multiple wins.
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Points leader and four-time 2022 race winner Chase Elliott will start 13th in the No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. William Byron will take to the grid from the 20th position in the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Alex Bowman will line up 30th in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Bubba Wallace won the pole position for Sunday’s 200-lap, 400-mile race.
Elliott and Bowman placed in the top 10 of practice from the combined group sessions and both drivers were in the top eight on the 10-lap averages board. Elliott, who was the 2020 Cup Series champion, has three career runner-up finishes at this track.
Michigan is one of two 2-mile tracks on the schedule, with Auto Club Speedway in California being the other. Byron doesn’t see a ton of similarities between the two.
"I don’t think Auto Club (Speedway) is very similar now with the age of that surface compared to this one," the two-time Cup Series winner in 2022 said during a pre-practice media availability. "I think just the speed is probably the biggest thing that’s similar, but there’s a lot more throttle time here, a lot faster speeds. I don’t see a ton that will be transferable between the two, other than just the downforce, speed and grip are going to be your biggest factors in success."
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The Rick Hendrick-owned organization has won eight times and led a series-best 2,658 laps at Michigan. Five drivers have victories at the facility in team history – that mark is tied with three other teams for the most different drivers to win by organization at this venue. Jeff Gordon has the most wins for the team at three, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two. Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson each won once at the 2-mile track.
In last year’s race at the Brooklyn, Michigan, venue, the four-car team combined to lead 156 of the 200 laps. Larson led a race-high 70 circuits, while Elliott paced the field for 68 laps and Byron led 18 laps. Byron and Larson took second and third, respectively, and Elliott scored a stage win. The driver of the No. 24 held the lead late before getting passed by race winner Ryan Blaney on the restart with eight laps to go.
Tune in to watch the quartet of Hendrick Motorsports drivers take to Michigan for 200 laps on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).