Kyle Larson earned a season-best finish Monday afternoon at Dover with a third-place effort and had a sense of humor about it afterward.
Larson and the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team have had a miserable start to the season. While he left the season-opening Daytona 500 with a seventh-place finish and was dominant at Atlanta before a speeding penalty, it has been downhill since.
He has endured a little bit of everything – blown tires, loose wheels, accidents and a scary tumble at Talladega. But at Dover, Larson and his team put together a clean and solid weekend, running inside the top 10 all afternoon. Although he never led a lap, Larson challenged the top contenders and earned points in both stages en route to his third top-10 finish of the season.
“It was solid,” Larson said of his day. “We ran inside the top five all race long. Fought tight early on, but we freed it up and got it where I felt like I was pretty good, and in the last run there, after cycling through green flag stops, I was really loose and got stuck in traffic and then was just looser in the dirty air, so made my tires pissed off. I had to just make sure I hit the bottom lap after lap to hold [Kevin] Harvick off.
“It was good to finally have a clean race. I don’t think we’ve had a clean weekend all year long, and we’re 11 weeks into the season. So, it’s a good to finally get a clean day, like I said. Thanks to our race team. Our pit crew did a good job today as well. Nice day.”