Kyle Larson rolled off his No.42 Chevrolet in 5th having gone off to a great start.
Within the first five laps, he got by Polesitter Kurt Busch for the race lead.
With the car running quietly throughout Stage 1, Larson went on and clinched the win in Stage 1.
There’s a debate about having to pit at the stage break with Crew Chief Chad Johnston.
But he’s more than happy to stay out without any issues having remained the race lead until he stopped midway in Stage 2.
The No.42 Chevy has excellent speed most of the time.
But he needed more rear grip as his crew changed with four new Goodyear Tires & Sunoco Fuel.
Towards the halfway point by Lap 50, Larson went on to wrap up in 9th as well as picking up a few bonus points:
- Ten Stage Points + One Playoff Point from the 1st segment win
- Two Stage Points during the 2nd Stanza
He stayed out before restarting in 3rd where the No.42 remains strong by retaking the lead.
Going midway through the final stage, Larson stopped by in pit road for the same treatments from his previous stop.
He’s hopeful of managing his fuel load as they re-added gas whereas the No.42 Chevy looks good on old tires.
Towards the next 20-30 laps, Larson battled just behind Brad Keselowski in 2nd.
At one point, he snatched the lead back for a brief time before Keselowski fought back.
Though, Crew Chief Chad Johnston urged him to slow down to save fuel.
“You don’t let him Brad Keselowski judge your pace; instead, it’s you that needs to dictate your pace,” says Chad Johnston.
Larson couldn’t find some solution to get by Keselowski for a while until Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crashed with eight to go.
But unfortunately, Larson collided with Keselowski and a few other drivers at the next restart.
He immediately got down to pit road after a temporary red flag hold-up.
He & the No.42 Team had to finish off the best they can by having the car bandaged by advancing into Round 2.
Following the crash, his car can’t turn left, due to a suspension problem.
But Kyle Larson managed to lift off outside the Top 30 & wrapped in 25th.
That small gain at the end is enough for him to stay above the Playoff bubble and go into Round 2 next Sunday at Dover.
Kyle Larson’s 2018 Cup Series Season So Far.
- 29 Races
- 7595 of 7970 Laps Completed, 95.3%
- 737 Laps Led
- Nine Top 5, 31%
- 16 Top 10 finishes, 55.2%
- Average Start: 11.7 & Finish: 12.7
- DNFs: Three, Crash (Texas, Talladega & Daytona 2)
- He currently sits 10th in the Drivers’ Standings with 3006 Points.
- 19th, Daytona 500
- 9th, Atlanta
- 3rd, Las Vegas
- 18th, Phoenix
- 2nd, Fontana
- 16th, Martinsville
- 36th, Texas
- 2nd, Bristol
- 7th, Richmond
- 40th, Talladega
- 2nd, Dover
- 4th, Kansas
- 7th, Charlotte
- 2nd, Pocono
- 28th, Michigan
- 14th, Sonoma
- 2nd, Chicagoland
- 29th, Daytona 2
- 9th, Kentucky
- 12th, New Hampshire
- 23rd, Pocono
- 6th, Watkins Glen
- 17th, Michigan 2
- 2nd, Bristol 2
- 3rd, Darlington
- 14th, Indianapolis
- 2nd, Las Vegas 2
- 7th, Richmond 2
- 25th, Charlotte Roval
The No.42 Chevrolet looked real fast even on old tires.
The overall performance did help Larson execute some of the areas and stay ahead of the pack for most of the time.
It’s a shame that Larson couldn’t end the race on a high having ran heavily in contention for the race win.
A late race wreck with Brad Keselowski went too far where he left with some pain inside the race car.
It nearly killed off his hopes of getting left out by not advancing into Round 2 with a suspension issue.
If he had to retire early, then this would’ve been a big nightmare and black flag for Larson.
Though thanks to the bonus points claimed earlier on plus some late gains, he’s just lucky to survive.
Next Sunday, he’s still praying to get his first win of 2018 now given that fact that Larson can again force his way into Championship 4.
He ran very well with a speedy race car or a clean race which does reflect the way Larson regularly picks up Top 5 & 10s.
With that said, he’s always happy with finishing within both of these marks.
Finishing 2nd at Las Vegas & 7th last week in Richmond still gave Larson the thumbs up.
The progress has to continue moving forward now there are six races left in 2018.
it’s not too late & edge closer towards “The Big Three” regarding the Drivers’ Standings.
What you can do to Support Kyle Larson
Make sure you stay up to date with him via the social media channels:
Plus, you can shop the latest Kyle Larson Fan Gear and Collectibles via the official NASCAR Shop link here.