Larson on pole after Kentucky rain

Larson on pole after Kentucky rain

Kyle Larson will start on pole for Saturday night’s Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup race after qualifying was cancelled to allow more practice time at the rain-plagued event.

Friday, July 10, 2015 (11:42 pm)
NASCAR is introducing aerodynamic rule tweaks for this weekend in an effort to improve the quality of racing at the track.

An additional test was scheduled for Wednesday to allow teams to acclimatise to the package, but this was rained off.

Further poor weather then stymied an attempt to run the session on Thursday instead.

The field finally took to the track on Friday morning for a practice session that was due to be extended to make up for the lack of running, only for more rain to arrive and force cars back to the garages after less than an hour.

It was initially indicated that the rest of practice would be abandoned and the field sent straight into qualifying at 5.45pm local time.

NASCAR then decided that qualifying would be cancelled instead, with more practice taking planned once the track is dry. An hour and a half of running is hoped for.

The grid will therefore be set on the times from the truncated morning session.

Larson led the way there in his Ganassi Chevrolet, his 29.583-second lap outpacing 2014 Kentucky winner Brad Keselowski’s Penske Ford by 0.146s.

Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr complete the top five.

Last week’s Daytona winner Dale Earnhardt Jr starts 10th and reigning champion Kevin Harvick 15th.

Under current NASCAR’s rules, in the event of a qualifying rain-out the drivers who have entered the least events in the year fail to qualify.

That means for a second consecutive event – following similar weather trouble at Daytona – Wood Brothers’ Ryan Blaney and Leavine Family driver Michael McDowell miss out, along with The Motorsports Group’s Travis Kvapil.

Blaney had been 16th quickest out of the 46 entries in the practice that took place.

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