HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Larson earned the top starting spot for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

Larson will start fifth in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He did that with a lap of 177.829 mph in the final round of qualifying. It also marks Larson’s 11th top-10 starting position in the last 12 races on drafting-style tracks. The 2021 Cup champion is looking for his first premier series drafting-track victory. 

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Fresh off his 2024 DAYTONA 500 win, William Byron just missed advancing to the final round of qualifying and will start 11th in the No. 24 Raptor High Heat Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Since Atlanta reconfigured to a drafting track ahead of the 2022 season, Byron has won twice (March of 2022 and July of 2023) and has led the most laps (171). He is one of two drivers with multiple drafting-track wins (three) in the Next Gen era (since 2022). 

"We’ve been fortunate that it’s worked out for us a couple of times," Byron said of his recent success at Atlanta. "The first win, we were pretty dominant here – led over 100 laps and put ourselves in a good position. But since then, it’s gotten even more chaotic. It’s two to three wide and it seems like everyone has figured out the draft here."

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Alex Bowman lines up 17th in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He enters this race coming off a runner-up finish in the DAYTONA 500 and that is one of two second-place results he has on superspeedways. In four races on the repaved 1.54-mile Georgia track, Bowman has one top-10 finish. 

Chase Elliott takes the grid from the 28th position in the No. 9 LLumar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Elliott is the other driver with multiple drafting-track wins in the Next Gen era. At Atlanta, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native won in July of 2022 and has led the third-most laps (125) since the track was reconfigured. 

Michael McDowell earned the pole position for the 260-lap race.

This is the first of two races at Atlanta this season. The second event will open the 2024 playoffs on Sept. 8, and Byron believes that adds a little more weight to this event. 

"It just makes the race a little more important for us," Byron said. "We just have to have a notebook for this race, so we need to understand what our setup needs to be and kind of tinker with that going back here in the fall."

See every Hendrick Motorsports winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hendrick Motorsports has been to victory lane 17 times at Atlanta. That total is the most among all Cup teams and is the fifth-most for the organization at any track. Eight of its drivers have won at Atlanta – the most among all organizations. Team vice chairman Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson each won five times at the Georgia oval. Byron has two wins at Atlanta. Elliott, Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Jerry Nadeau and Kasey Kahne have one victory apiece. Gordon (23 years, 7 months and 8 days) and Byron (24 years, 3 months and 20 days) stand as the second and fourth-youngest Cup Series winners in track history.

On drafting tracks (Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta), Hendrick Motorsports has 33 wins, which is 13 more than the next-best teams. Three of those victories have come at the 1.54-mile Georgia venue since its reprofiling. The team also has 16 wins at Daytona and 14 at Talladega.

Watch Hendrick Motorsports pursue another Atlanta win on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).