Kyle Larson Leads a Hendrick Motorsports Front Row Lockout at Martinsville

Published 10/28/2021, 10:08 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 26: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Tarlton and Son Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


This weekend marks the penultimate race in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. Over here, the Cup drivers head to the Martinsville Speedway for one last chance for Playoff drivers to snatch a win. Kyle Larson starts this race from pole position and in with a chance of snatching another win.

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Alongside him on the front row is Chase Elliott, making it a Hendrick Motorsports front-row lockout. This could help the outfit in trying to get two Hendrick cars into the season finale. Right behind them are the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Row three consists of the Team Penske pair of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Finally, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney complete the Playoff contenders, with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounding out the Top 10.

How does everyone else line up behind Kyle Larson?

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Just outside the Top 10 are, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillon. Chris Buescher will line up in 15th place, ahead of Ross Chastain. Finally, Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, Michael McDowell, and Daniel Suarez will make up the Top 20. Behind them will be Matt DiBenedetto and Chase Briscoe, with Aric Almirola and Cole Custer in 23rd and 24th.

Oct 17, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) celebrates in victory lane after he wins the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 in the NASCAR round of 8 opening race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Stenhouse Jr will start 25th, ahead of Ryan Preece, who is racing for his Cup Series future. Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Corey LaJoie, and BJ McLeod will comprise the Top 30 drivers at the Martinsville Speedway. Cody Ware and Anthony Alfredo just missed out on a Top 30, with Josh Bilicki and Joey Gase behind them. Finally, Justin Haley, Quin Houff, Garrett Smithley, and Timmy Hill complete the 38-car grid.

In the build-up to this race, Kyle Larson comes into this event with no pressure on his shoulders. However, the same cannot be said for the other seven drivers around him. Nobody knows what the strategies will be, whether Larson will be out for himself, or play the team game. However, one thing is for sure, all of the drivers will be battling hard.

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Dhruv George

12331 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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