NASCAR starting lineup at California: Kyle Larson wins pole, as five drivers miss qualifying

Much like all-star weekends in other sports, NASCAR’s All-Star Race is drastically different than any event of the season.

Kyle Larson won his second career pole Friday at Auto Club Speedway, but the biggerstory from the session involved five drivers who did not even turn a qualifying lap.

Jimmie Johnson had not planned toparticipate in qualifying after wrecking his primary car in practice.

"I wasn't comfortable putting Jimmie in a position where he would have to hustle a car that he hasn't turned a lap in yet," crew chief Chad Knaus told ESPN. "We are all the way out here on the West Coast, and brought two race cars. If we were to crash this car, we would have to pull a car from a teammate and it would be a very difficult obstacle to overcome."

Johnson will start 36th.Four drivers, Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Gray Gaulding and Matt DiBenedettodid not run a qualifying lap as their cars did not clear inspection in time. They will start at the rear of the field with Johnson.

Denny Hamlin will start on the outside front row beside Larson. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver said he got a little loose in turns 1 and 2, but the car stuck the rest of the lap.

"I’m really happy… to get a pole is great," he told FS1 afterward."I haven’t gotten a pole since my rookie season (2014)."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will make his 600th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup start Sunday, is 18th on the starting grid.

Here is the starting lineup for the Auto Club 400(200 laps, Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET).

1. Kyle Larson
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Ryan Newman
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Kevin Harvick

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will make his 600th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup start Sunday, is 18th on the starting grid.

8. Jamie McMurray
9. Kyle Busch
10. Daniel Suarez
11. Austin Dillon
12. Kasey Kahne
13. Chase Elliott
14. Erik Jones
15. Kurt Busch
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19. Ryan Blaney
20. Chris Buescher
21. Ty Dillon
22. Danica Patrick
23. Paul Menard
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Michael McDowell
26. Landon Cassill
27. David Ragan
28. Cole Whitt
29. Reed Sorenson
30. Corey LaJoie
31. Aric Almirola
32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
33. Derrike Cope
34. Timmy Hill
35. Gray Gaulding
36. Jimmie Johnson
37. Trevor Bayne
38. Joey Logano
39. Matt DiBenedetto

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