BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – For the last three years, Bristol Motor Speedway has laid down the dirt for the spring Cup Series race. Each year, there are a handful of guys that are picked out as having an edge on the clay.

Kyle Larson is one of those guys.

However, the dirt prowess of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy driver has yet to translate to a win in Thunder Valley. He finished fourth last year in the Food City Dirt Race and then 29th the year prior, despite starting on the pole.

On Saturday, he cruised in qualifying securing 15 points in the Heat Race to cement his spot on the pole for Sunday’s Cup Series clash.

For Larson, the key to overtaking five cars in just 15 laps of qualifying was taking the high road.

“[Matt] Crafton has never been in a Cup car – so I think he’s probably a little bit – just a little slow on shifting and just taking it all easy, so I had a good launch on him,” he said. “Got to the outside of him and Corey [LaJoie] went to the bottom of [Turn] 3 and I had a run down the backstretch and was able to get to his outside. So, it just kind of worked out that the outside lane launched really well and my turned well enough to stay rotated to get by them.”

Austin Dillon finished second in qualifying and will make his first-ever start from the front row at BMS. J.J. Yeley, Christopher Bell and last year’s winner – Kyle Busch – round out the Top 5.

The green flag for the 2023 Food City Dirt Race is slated to drop at 7 p.m. on Sunday night.