Kyle Larson was about to discard his race suit and begin relaxing after it appeared Kurt Busch had bettered his time in qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star race. NASCAR officials, however, determined the No. 41 team failed to properly fasten two lug nuts on Busch's auto after pitting, assessing him a 10-second penalty.
Last Saturday's Monster Energy Cup NASCAR Series race at Kansas Speedway demonstrated racing is still unsafe.
A crew member rolls a tire to mount on the vehicle of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr during practice for Saturday's NASCAR Cup series All-Star auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Friday, May 19, 2017.
Larson had an average speed of 144.839 miles per hour over three laps that also included a mandatory four-tire pit stop Friday night.
Kyle Larson won the pole for Saturday night's Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch, who like Larson is looking for his first all-star win, will start on the outside of Row 1.
Larson jumped to the top of the board with a single-lap speed of 189.274mph after completing 27 laps.
The performance came in Larson's first All-Star qualifying attempt.
NASCAR's most popular driver 14 years running seems relaxed just weeks after announcing he'd leave cup racing full time after the season.
"Starting up front is a big deal", Larson said. "We were just hoping to finish in the top eight".
Of the top five drivers, Johnson and Kurt Busch were both issued penalties. Truex is second in the Sprting Cup points standings but his 15 playoff points are the most of any driver in the series right now.
The one-of-a-kind qualifying procedures - which abandon the pit-road speed limit for one night only - tripped up a handful of drivers.
Denny Hamlin will start ninth after turning to a backup vehicle in qualifying following a wreck in practice.
Last year's victor: Joey Logano.
With 16 starting positions set, four more will be added tomorrow - three in the Monster Energy Open and one with the fan vote.
NASCAR will continue its pursuit of aggressive new rules to help spice up the racing during the Monster Energy All-Star race in Charlotte, N.C. He thought the soft tires could only be used in the final 10-lap segment, and was unaware they could be used in an earlier stage of the event.
When to use the tires becomes the pivotal question of the race because some will race with them just to ensure a spot in the final 10. If a driver elects to use the tires in the final shootout, he must start at the rear of the field.
"I'm still not really sure what happened", Newman said.