Kyle Larson gets Richmond Sprint Cup pole after qualifying rainout

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Just after the end of Nationwide Series qualifying this afternoon, rain hit the Richmond International Raceway and caused NASCAR to scratch Sprint Cup Series qualifying.

That means Cup rookie Kyle Larson will be on pole for tomorrow’s Toyota Owners 400 after he posted the fastest time in today’s first practice session.

Larson turned a lap of 21.280 seconds at 126.880 miles per hour in that session for top honors. He’ll be joined on the front row by Brad Keselowski, who was P2 in Practice 1 with his lap of 21.396 seconds at 126.192 mph.

Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne will start from Row 2 on Saturday after going third and fourth in Practice 1. Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers will start in Row 3, followed by Jamie McMurray and rookie Ryan Truex in Row 4, and Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson in Row 5.

Other notables include Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 13th, Fall 2013 Richmond winner Carl Edwards in 16th, Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon in 25th, and Danica Patrick in 35th. A full grid can be found here.

At this time, fans at RIR have been advised to take shelter in the event of severe weather. Tonight’s Nationwide Series race is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET start time, but that may be pushed back to some degree. When there are updates, we’ll pass them along to you.

Tomorrow’s forecast looks clear fortunately, as NBC 12 in Richmond is predicting temperatures around 80 with a minimal chance of rain.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.