Kyle Larson wins pole for Bristol

Kyle Larson (42) makes his way around the course during practice for a NASCAR Cup series auto race, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Kyle Larson has the first Bristol pole of his career.

Larson posted the fastest lap in the final round of qualifying Friday for Saturday night’s race at Bristol. He’ll start first ahead of Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch. It’s Larson’s seventh pole of his career.

Larson is still searching for the first win of his 2018 season. He said he though William Byron’s provisional pole lap would have been “tough” to beat, but Larson and three other drivers ended up going faster than Byron did. Paul Menard starts fourth while Byron will start fifth.

Larson was ahead of Kyle Busch late in the spring race at Bristol before Busch bumped him out of the way with less than 10 laps to go on the way to a win. Larson has never won at Bristol in either the Cup Series or the Xfinity Series. Busch has been his nemesis.

“I guess a little bit of choking at the end of races,” Larson said with a laugh. “There have been so many that have slipped away, I feel like.”

Both drivers are racing in the Xfinity Series race on Friday night. Here’s the starting lineup for Saturday night’s Cup race, which has been moved up an hour. Race coverage now starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN with the green flag at approximately 6:45.

1. Kyle Larson
2. Chase Elliott
3. Kyle Busch
4. Paul Menard
5. William Byron
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Aric Almirola
9. Kurt Busch
10. Ryan Blaney
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13. Jimmie Johnson
14. Erik Jones
15. David Ragan
16. Clint Bowyer
17. Martin Truex Jr.
18. Austin Dillon
19. Joey Logano
20. Jamie McMurray
21. Daniel Suarez
22. Alex Bowman
23. Trevor Bayne
24. Ryan Newman
25. AJ Allmendinger
26. Kasey Kahne
27. Bubba Wallace
28. Chris Buescher
29. Matt DiBenedetto
30. Corey LaJoie
31. Michael McDowell
32. Ty Dillon
33. Jesse Little
34. JJ Yeley
35. Ross Chastain
36. Reed Sorenson
37. Timmy Hill
38. Gray Gaulding
39. Landon Cassill
40. Blake Jones

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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