Kyle Larson has been the bright spot in the Chevrolet camp this season, and that continued Friday at Dover.
In grabbing the pole for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism, Larson will become just the second Chevy driver to start from the top spot in a Monster Energy Series race this year. The Chip Ganassi Racing star is also the only Chevrolet sitting in the top 10 in points going into the race, and he appears to be the only one comfortable in the new Camaro body.
“Our team hasn’t once, I feel like, been stressed out about the new Camaro. Or been like ‘ah, this is different than the SS,’” Larson said. “Nothing has felt different for our team. I feel like for the most part, we have been just as fast at the 1.5-mile stuff as we were with the old car.”
The separation between Larson and his fellow bowtie drivers is clear.
While he might be winless, Larson has led over 200 laps to start the year. That is more than double what the other Chevrolet drivers sitting in the top 20 in points have led – combined. It’s also worth noting that Jimmie Johnson, who is 14th in points, has yet to lead a single lap.
Statistics aside, Larson has had speed going for him, and he’s never far from the front.
In races where Larson felt he was off, he categorized it more as a setup issue as opposed to a body issue. ISM Raceway and Richmond were the two tracks Larson specifically mentioned.
“It wasn’t a Camaro issue versus SS; I think it was just a setup issue that we had going on,” said Larson.
Meanwhile, other Chevrolet drivers are expressing other things. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson consistently uses the word progress to talk about the Camaro. Austin Dillon said Friday morning the Chevy group has been trying to find speed.
But all continues to be fine for Larson.
“I don’t know what the other people and teams are battling. I think balance-wise I feel exactly the same as what I did last year,” Larson said. “It hasn’t been an issue to us. I feel like speed-wise, we are close to where we were.
“I think Ford, in general, has been a lot better than they were last year. That is probably where we look like we are struggling, but I don’t think we’re really struggling.”