Kyle Larson earns pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Kyle Busch on outside pole

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If you predicted that a driver named Kyle would be on the front row for Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, you couldn’t go wrong.

Kyle Larson qualified No. 1 for the race with a speed of 124.476. Starting next to Larson on the outside pole is Kyle Busch (124.307).

Matt Kenseth qualified third (124.186), followed by Brian Scott (123.594), Ryan Blaney (123.308), Kevin Harvick (123.197), current NNS points leader Regan Smith (123.166) was seventh-fastest, James Buescher (122.544), Ty Dillon (121.844), Mike Bliss (121.767) in 10th.

Cale Conley, making his first career NNS start, qualified 12th, alongside No. 11 Dylan Kwasniewski, who tried to improve his position in the closing minutes of qualifying, only to spin and hit the wall, resulting in heavy damage to the left rear of his Chevrolet.

Kwasniewski’s team was attempting to repair the damage rather than go to a backup car.

Here’s the starting grid for Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 Presented by Lilly Diabetes NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway:

Row 1

Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch

Row 2

Matt Kenseth, Brian Scott

Row 3

Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick

Row 4

Regan Smith, James Buescher

Row 5

Ty Dillon, Mike Bliss

Row 6

Dylan Kwasniewski, Cale Conley

Row 7

Chris Buescher, Treevor Bayne

Row 8

Chase Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto

Row 9

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Elliott Sadler

Row 10

Ryan Sieg, Brendan Gaughan

Row 11

Ryan Reed, Will Kimmel

Row 12

Josh Wise, Blake Koch

Row 13

Timmy Hill, Landon Cassill

Row 14

Kelly Admiraal, Mike Wallace

Row 15

Dakoda Armstrong, Jeremy Clements

Row 16

Tanner Berryhill, Carl Long

Row 17

Kevin Lepage, Joe Nemechek

Row 18

Eric McClure, Derrike Cope

Row 19

Jamie Dick, Joey Gase

Row 20

Ruben Garcia Jr., Matt Carter

Failing to qualify: Tommy Joe Martins (withdrew), Willie Allen

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Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.