CHEVROLET NCS: Larson Powers Chevrolet to Pole Position for Inaugural Race at Iowa Speedway

 Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson will lead the field to the green-flag in the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural race at Iowa Speedway – posting a pole-winning lap of 23.084 seconds, at 136.458 mph, in his No. 5 Camaro ZL1.
·       The pole marks Larson’s 20th career NASCAR Cup Series pole – four of which have come in the 2024 season.
·       The series’ points leader delivered Chevrolet its sixth pole of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season; and the manufacturer’s series-leading 749th all-time pole in NASCAR’s premier series.
·       With precipitation delaying on-track action at the Iowa short-track, the qualifying format for NASCAR’s premier series was altered to one round of qualifying, with the times posted by the top-five qualifiers in each round setting up the lineup for tomorrow’s 350-lap event.
·       The USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, June 15, at 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 STARTING LINEUP:   POS.   DRIVER 1st  Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1 4th  William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 7th  Kyle Busch, No. 8 Zone Camaro ZL1 9th  Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1 – Pole Win Media Availability Quotes

Larson on his pole-winning lap at Iowa Speedway:

“Obviously happy to get the pole. It helped to go out last, probably. I’m sure the track was continuing to get a little bit better. We got to watch SMT of everybody’s runs, so that helps. But it also makes you a little bit more nervous when you see everybody out there struggling. Thankfully, my lap was mostly comfortable; a little bit loose like everybody was. But we were able to piece together two pretty consistent laps and be fast enough on that second lap to get it done.”

You’ve been able to get laps on this track and this surface, more than most, and you’ve seen a ton of different conditions now. How much more prepared do you feel like your No. 5 Camaro ZL1 team is compared to the rest of the field?

“Yeah, I just got asked that question out on pit road. I don’t know.. I guess it would be hard to argue that it benefited us because we got the pole, but I don’t think it mattered because the track was so different than when we were here a couple weeks ago. I think we tested for, I don’t know, seven hours or so. The first probably four-and-a-half hours were like not even remotely close to what it is this weekend. And even by the end of it, like it still felt way different than it ever did yesterday. If anything, I think you could get led down the wrong road by testing here a few weeks ago. But our team – we’ve got great teammates to rely on. A couple of them were really fast yesterday, so got to study what they had and talk. I think we’ve made our Chevy better. Obviously I think our performance last week helped for qualifying this week, getting to go out last.”

Some people are having tire issues. We’re hearing some talk that it’s just more grip and you’re going about a second faster than you were in the test..

“We aren’t going any faster..

At the end of the test, yeah – we were going the same, if not a little slower, than what I remember.”

Does the track feel much different than it was at the test?

“So how I felt yesterday in practice, to start practice – it was really slick and I felt very loose, which is kind of how I felt when we started the test. The track was brand new; it hadn’t seen a car go around it yet and it was like oily feeling and slick. So I kind of felt that way when practice started. And then by the very end of practice, I thought it gained some grip and got closer to what the test was – which the test, we didn’t get to do like a 50-lap run yesterday, so I felt like the track was fairly similar by the end of it. But no – as far as lap times, we weren’t going any faster than we were at the last hour of that test.”

You’ve spent a lot of time racing in the Midwest, especially in this state. How does the Midwestern race fan compare to other race fans, and how deserving do you feel like they are for finally having a Cup race here?

“Yeah, I think Midwestern fans – not only from Iowa, but all the other states around this region, are really into racing.. whether it be sprint cars, midgets, dirt late models, stock cars. And I think they’ve been starving for a race, a Cup race especially, here (at Iowa Speedway). Yeah, I think all of us, even drivers included, wanted a race here. I think across the board, we were all really happy to get a Cup race here. We probably all wish it would have come earlier so we could have raced on the older pavement, but regardless, I think it’s great for this fan base. It’s awesome, too, that Knoxville Raceway is racing this weekend. It’s one of the final tune-ups for traveling teams to get ready for the Knoxville Nationals. If you aren’t a sprint car fan, you can go there and catch some awesome racing, and get introduced to that side of motorsports too. It’s a cool weekend for Midwestern race fans.”

Have your thoughts changed on the repave here? Are you still a bit pessimistic about what we might see with the on-track product here on Sunday? What are your thoughts about what we might see now that you’ve been on-track?

“I think there’s still so much unknown, so I think that’s exciting for race fans and all that.. even drivers. There’s probably more drivers in the field that feel like they have an opportunity to have a good run because if this place was old, worn out, bumpy – your Hendrick Motorsports teams, your Joe Gibbs Racing teams, they’re going to be the ones dominating. Where now, I feel like – especially with qualifying shaking-up the order and all that, I think the starting lineup is a little bit odd. So yeah, I think more teams probably feel like they have an opportunity. And then there’s pit strategy stuff that goes along with it, so there’s just more opportunity across the board. Obviously I think the drivers would have more fun with the old surface, but what’s the point of worrying about that at this point. You can’t put the old surface back down.”