AUSTIN, Texas – William Byron narrowly edged Ty Gibbs to earn the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). 

During the final round of qualifying, Byron edged Gibbs by 0.015 seconds to score the top starting spot with a fast lap of 94.696 mph in his No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, setting a new track record in the process. The 26-year-old won the pole position in last year's race at COTA and won stage one before finishing fifth. For Byron, the pole is his first of the season, the 13th of his career and his fifth on a road course. Hendrick Motorsports now has a series-best 247 poles in the Cup Series, just three shy of 250, and has won a pole in all 41 seasons it has competed in the sport's top series.

RELATED: See the scenes from Byron's first pole position of 2024

"This has been my first normal week since the (DAYTONA) 500," Byron said. "Being able to be back home, be in my rhythm, my cacoon and be able to focus on driving the race car. I feel really happy with how the week’s gone and feel very fresh going into this race. I’m excited for that."

The 2024 DAYTONA 500 winner has two straight top-two finishes on road courses – with a win at Watkins Glen International in August and a second-place run at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. 

Chase Elliott takes the green flag from the ninth position in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The 2020 Cup Series champion won the inaugural race at COTA in 2021, the record-tying 268th Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports and the 800th Cup victory for manufacturer Chevrolet. Elliott's average finish of 2.50 in two starts at the 3.41-mile track is the best in the field. He leads all active Cup Series drivers with seven road course wins and ranks third all-time in the category (behind Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon [nine] and Tony Stewart [eight]).

RELATED: Flashback to Elliott's COTA win in 2021

Kyle Larson will line up 15th in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Larson, who is running Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race, finished as the runner-up to Elliott in the 2021 event at COTA. The 2021 Cup Series champion has four road course wins at Hendrick Motorsports and is the only driver to win three races on serpentine layouts in one season. 

Alex Bowman takes the grid from the 17th spot in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Bowman's average finish of 4.33 is his best at any track and the third-best among all drivers. In the last two races at the 20-turn track, he has finished in the top three, with a best finish of second in 2022. The 30-year-old driver has two runner-up finishes on road courses. 

RELATED: Bowman's statistical strength at COTA

In practice, Byron topped the board at the very end of the session. Bowman placed third (94.416 mph), while Larson was ninth (93.980 mph). Larson posted the second-best average among the drivers to run five consecutive laps around the 3.41-mile course. 

Each group got two 20-minute practice sessions at COTA, as this was the first time the short tracks and road course rules package was used on a serpentine layout this year. The package includes 2023 short track/road course splitter stuffers, no engine panel strakes, a three-inch spoiler (previously two inches), a simplified diffuser and simplified diffuser strakes. 

Elliott's win in the inaugural race at COTA is the team's only victory at the Austin, Texas, track in its three-year history hosting the Cup Series. The team leads the series in top-five finishes (six) and top-10s (seven) and has had two drivers finish in the top five in each of the three races at COTA. Three drivers for the Rick Hendrick-owned team are in the top six of average finishes at the 3.41-mile road course. Elliott tops the list (2.50), Bowman ranks third (4.33) and Byron is sixth (9.33). For points scored, all four drivers rank in the top eight: Bowman is third (114), Byron sits sixth (93), Larson is seventh (88) and Elliott is eighth (86). 

RELATED: See every road course win for Hendrick Motorsports

Totaling 27 victories, Hendrick Motorsports has the most all-time triumphs on road courses in Cup Series history. The two closest teams in this statistic have combined for only 23 wins. Eight different drivers have won at seven tracks for the team. Since its inaugural season in 1984, the organization has won 27.83% of road course events (27 wins in 97 races). The team also tops the board among Cup Series squads on road courses in poles (26), top-five finishes (89), top-10s (151), laps led (2,289) and stage wins (16) on this track type.

The first Cup Series road course race of the year will be broadcast on FOX, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90) on Sunday, March 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET.