Bouncing Back From Contact, Larson Charged with 13th Place at Phoenix



Bouncing Back From Contact, Larson Charged with 13th Place at Phoenix

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Published in Nationwide Series News
Monday, 04 March 2013 07:31
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Returning to the site of his best career NASCAR national series finish to date, Kyle Larson and the No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports team had confidence and a fast Eveready Camaro on their side. Laying down fast laps in both practice sessions, Larson and crew chief Trent Owens compiled a good baseline setup for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Dollar General 200 fueled by Amerigas. However, hot and slick track conditions on race day proved to be a challenge for the 20-year-old driver, as he battled a loose condition for most of the afternoon to come home with a 13th place finish.

After rolling off from the 14th position at the drop of the green flag, Larson first battled a tight-handling condition in his Chevrolet Camaro, but broke into the top-10 after a fast pit stop by his Turner Scott Motorsports crew just before lap 50. Though the first round of adjustments were made to remedy a tight condition, Larson soon radioed that the track surface had changed, and he was now loose all the way around the one-mile oval. He continued to battle the loose condition in his No. 32 machine through the next round of pit stops, hanging on as he weaved his way through heavy traffic during green flag racing conditions.

Battling side by side around the 12th position beyond the halfway point, the young Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver made slight contact with the outside retaining wall as his Eveready Camaro broke loose, bringing out the sixth caution of the afternoon. The pit crew went to work quickly once again when Larson pulled down pit road under the yellow, changing two right side tires and making one final round of adjustments. Those final changes helped the handling in the closing laps, but traffic marred Larson's charge to get back to the front, giving him a 13th place finish.

"The Eveready Camaro was really good in the closing laps, but we just didn't have enough to get to the front at that point. We fought a loose handling condition for most of the race and that's what got me into the wall with 50 laps to go," Larson explained. "But I had a lot of fun racing with Jimmie Johnson for most of the race, and I feel like I learned a lot from him. I'm really looking forward to racing the rest of the season with a lot of different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and learning as much as I can from them."

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Steven B. Wilson

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