NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol: Qualifying, Kyle Larson’s ‘Under The Edge’ Pole Position, Inaugural Lineup At Iowa Speedway

ioaw speedway establish shot (1)

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson didn’t know what to expect during Saturday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s inaugural Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol at Iowa Speedway. 

With several pilots competing on the 0.875-mile track for the first time, other drivers have national series experience at the track dubbed the “fastest short track on the planet,” but not for several years. 

Certainly, none of the drivers previously ran a modern Cup machine at the venue. Some tended to over-drive the asphalt oval, while others seemed to hold back too much. Many teams struggled with tire pressure during Friday’s practice laps. 

Larson, the series points leader, took advantage of qualifying last and credited his extra study for capturing his fourth pole position, turning a hot lap of 136.458 mph.    

“It was challenging, for sure,” Larson told NBC Sports. “I get to watch everybody (qualify). Everybody looked really loose, really on edge. 

“I tried to be under the edge, I guess. It helps going last.” 

Ryan Blaney, who finished 0.025 seconds behind Larson, will start on the outside of the front row. 

“Happy to get the pole,” Larson said. “Glad that worked out.” 

Saturday morning rains wiped out the Xfinity Series’ qualifying session for the afternoon’s Hy-Vee Perks 250 and delayed the start of the Cup’s placement event. The top series’ qualifying run was cut to a single-run, two-pool format.  

Noah Gragson paced Friday’s practice session with a top speed of 137.988 mph, edging Ty Gibbs by 0.239 seconds and Alex Bowman by 0.038 seconds. 

Martin Truex Jr. To Retire At Season’s End

After a few seasons of speculation, Martin Truex Jr. Confirmed the rumors Friday.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will retire after this season.

“I’m obviously here to let y’all know that I won’t be back full-time next year,” Truex said, as reported by

Last season’s regular-season titleholder, Truex enters the Iowa Corn 350 fifth in the points standings, despite failing to visit Victory Lane.

Beginning in 2025, Truex likely will transition into an “ambassadorial” role with the organization. He also will compete in limited Xfinity Series events.

The 19-year Cup veteran has collected 34 career wins and 23 pole positions.

Driving for Furniture Row Racing in 2017, Truex earned the Cup championship. Three times he placed second in the points standings. He claimed back-to-back Xfinity titles in 2004 and ‘05.

“It’s the right time for me,” said Truex, who will turn 44 years old on June 29. I’ve thought about it a lot for the last few seasons – just waited for that feeling in my mind to be positive, like ‘This is OK, I’m good, and I want to do something else.’ ”

Starting Lineup for NASCAR Cup Series’ Iowa Corn 350

Here is a look at the lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series’ Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol at Iowa Speedway:

Starting Position, Driver, Car No., Team

  • 1, Kyle Larson, 5, Hendrick Motorsports 
  • 2, Ryan Blaney, 12, Team Penske 
  • 3, Josh Berry, 4, Stewart-Haas Racing 
  • 4, William Byron, 24, Hendrick Motorsports 
  • 5, Brad Keselowski, 6, RFK Racing 
  • 6, Chase Briscoe, 14, Stewart-Haas Racing 
  • 7, Kyle Busch, 8, Richard Childress Racing 
  • 8, Tyler Reddick, 45, 23XI Racing 
  • 9, Chase Elliott, 9, Hendrick Motorsports 
  • 10, Christopher Bell, 20, Joe Gibbs Racing 
  • 11, Joey Logano, 22, Team Penske 
  • 12, Denny Hamlin, 11, Joe Gibbs Racing 
  • 13, Daniel Suarez, 99, Trackhouse Racing 
  • 14, Todd Gilliland, 38, Front Row Motorsports 
  • 15, Chris Buescher, 17, RFK Racing 
  • 16, Bubba Wallace, 23, 23XI Racing 
  • 17, Ross Chastain, 1, Trackhouse Racing 
  • 18, AJ Allmendinger, 16, Kaulig Racing 
  • 19, Justin Haley, 51, Rick Ware Racing  
  • 20, Carson Hocevar, 77, Spire Motorsports    
  • 21, Austin Cindric, 2, Team Penske 
  • 22, Michael McDowell, 34, Front Row Motorsports 
  • 23, Noah Gragson, 42, Stewart-Haas Racing  
  • 24, Corey LaJoie, 7, Spire Motorsports 
  • 25, Harrison Burton, 21, Wood Brothers Racing  
  • 26, Zane Smith, 71, Spire Motorsports  
  • 27, Ty Gibbs, 54, Joe Gibbs Racing 
  • 28, Kaz Grala, 15, Rick Ware Racing 
  • 29, Ryan Preece, 41, Stewart-Haas Racing 
  • 30, Martin Truex Jr., 19, Joe Gibbs Racing 
  • 31, Daniel Hemric, 31, Kaulig Racing  
  • 32, Erik Jones, 43, Legacy Motor Club 
  • 33, Alex Bowman, 48, Hendrick Motorsports 
  • 34, John Hunter Nemechek, 42, Legacy Motor Club 
  • 35, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 47, JTG Daugherty Racing  
  • 36, Austin Dillon, 3, Richard Childress Racing 

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