Kyle Larson is not in a must-win situation for the second playoff elimination race at Kansas Speedway, but making up 26 points will be a tall task for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.
Larson is 11th on the playoff grid, below a transfer spot, after two disappointing weeks in the Round of 8. Out of the picture for most of the weekend, Larson grabbed an 11th-place finish in the 1000Bulbs.com 500, despite a spin that left fender damage on Lap 105 and aided by missing the wrecks at the end.
“We just had a terrible racecar and were really slow all weekend,” said Larson, who qualified 34th. “We were able to salvage a decent finish, but the Fords are so fast here and can rack up a lot of stage points. Even when they have a bad day, they still gain points on us. It is what it is. We’ll just go to Kansas and try and win.”
Larson did not earn stage points in either of the stages at Talladega.
Last weekend, Larson finished a quiet 12th at Dover — a surprising day considering Larson is thought of as a Dover favorite after strong runs there in the past. That includes earning two runner-up finishes and leading 463 laps in 10 starts.
Kansas is also one of Larson’s better tracks as he excels on the 1.5-milers. A fourth-place effort in the spring race was Larson’s third top-10 finish in his 10th start.
“We’ve challenged for wins there in the past, and hopefully we can go there next week and be strong,” he said.