Kyle Larson wins the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series street race in downtown Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Larson has won the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series street race in downtown Chicago, beating Ty Gibbs by a hundredth of a second.

Larson posted a fast lap of 1 minute, 27.836 seconds in the second round of qualifying on the 12-turn, 2.2-mile course Saturday, recording a top speed of 90.168 mph. Gibbs was next at 1:27.846 seconds and 90.158 mph.

Larson is going for his fourth win of the season in his 350th career Cup Series start. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has five poles this year and 21 for his career.

“This year qualifying, I mean racing, too, has been a strong suit, but qualifying, we've been able to execute and get five poles to this point,” said Larson, who leads the Cup Series driver standings going into Sunday's Grant Park 165. “That's special. So yeah, hopefully, we can keep that up and keep our speed up in the races as well.”

Michael McDowell (90.141 mph) qualified third, followed by Tyler Reddick (89.923) in fourth. Shane van Gisbergen (89.813) rounded out the top five after he won the race last year.

“We’re in for a battle tomorrow,” McDowell said, “and we’ve got a fast car and a good opportunity to try to execute and put ourselves in position to win.”

Larson also had the fastest car in practice. He finished fourth in the inaugural race a year ago.

Larson prepared for the Cup Series start on the tricky, unfamiliar course with a third-place finish in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday. Van Gisbergen got the win, and Ty Gibbs was second.

Larson and van Gisbergen dueled throughout the first stage of the Xfinity Series race in a possible preview for Sunday.

“My Cup car feels much more, I think, like competitively equal, I would say, to be able to battle him in more corners or hopefully hold him off better,” Larson said after the Xfinity Series race. “But like I said, it’s not just him. There's going to be a lot of other guys that are really good tomorrow.”


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