Larson Keeps Momentum Going with Fourth-Place Finish at Charlotte

Larson Keeps Momentum Going with Fourth-Place Finish at Charlotte

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Published in Nationwide Series News
Sunday, 26 May 2013 09:28
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Larson Keeps Momentum Going with Fourth-Place Finish at Charlotte Getty Images

Kyle Larson kept his momentum from Darlington Raceway alive, coming from the middle of the field to finish fourth in his first ever race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Larson's No. 32 VIZIO/Hulu Plus Chevrolet went from loose to tight in the initial runs, but once the team dialed in the handling of his Camaro, the 20-year-old broke into the top five, earning his second-consecutive top-10 finish.


Taking the green flag from the 18th position, Larson began the History 300 with a loose condition. However, the No. 32 Chevrolet quickly transitioned to tight on landing, putting Larson 16th when the first caution flag of the day was waved on lap 40. Crew chief Trent Owens called his rookie driver into the pits for four tires, fuel and both track-bar and air-pressure adjustments, putting him 14th when racing resumed.


Larson battled his way to ninth 10 laps after the lap 45 restart, working his way up to seventh before a caution on lap 88. Larson reported that he was a little tight on the throttle at the end of the run, and the No. 32 team bolted on four fresh Goodyears while providing fuel and chassis adjustments. Maintaining his position, Larson took the green from seventh.


The field would see an extremely long green-flag run, and Larson kept his VIZIO/Hulu machine in the top 10 throughout. Green-flag pit stops began on lap 141, with Larson scored in the ninth spot. Owens called his driver into the pits on lap 144, opting once again for four tires, fuel and slight chassis adjustments. Once green-flag pit stops had cycled through, Larson remained in the ninth spot, and he gained one more position before the yellow waved on lap 154.


When the field went green on lap 158, Larson had an impressive restart, flying up to third place before the caution was displayed on lap 166. The crew made their final stop of the day, opting for two tires and fuel. With several competitors remaining on the racetrack, Larson took the green in ninth.


The field experienced two more yellow flags in the closing laps, putting Larson in the eighth position for the final restart of the race. Larson capitalized on the outside line for his restart, immediately jumping into fifth. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate gained one more position in the final laps, crossing the finish line in fourth place. The finish garnered Larson both the Sunoco Rookie of the Race and Mobil 1 Driver of the Race awards.


"I'm a momentum guy, so when I do well, it seems like I keep doing well week to week," said Larson. "We started something good in Darlington, and I'm really proud of what we did today. We started really far back and didn't move forward too much in the beginning, but by the third run we got really good. On that fourth restart when I went from eighth to third, that's when I realized just how good we were. When I was running fourth there at the end, I was really hoping to get another restart, because I think if they closed us up with me on the outside, I really would have had something for the leaders. Either way, I'll take a fourth-place finish any day. It was really cool to have VIZIO and Hulu Plus on board this week; hopefully we can keep up the momentum for them next week in Dover."


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Steven B. Wilson

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