Larson Leads Most Laps, Settles for Eighth-Place Finish at Michigan

14 Jun 2014
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Larson Leads Most Laps, Settles for Eighth-Place Finish at Michigan Getty Images

In his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start at Michigan International Raceway, Kyle Larson and his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team dominated the early portion of the Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250,. However, differing pit strategies left Larson with a late-race battle to gain back track position, ultimately driving the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet across the finish line in eighth place. During the weekend's two practice sessions, Larson and his TSM team ranked second and 11th-fastest at the 2.0-mile track. After making it through all three knockout qualifying sessions, Larson scored the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro a fourth-place starting position for the 125-lap race. As the green flag waved on the Great Lakes state, the 21-year-old radioed to crew chief Scott Zipadelli that his car was beginning to feel loose on lap 10. The handling soon corrected itself and by lap 17, Larson had taken the lead with a well-balanced car. Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through on lap 42 and Zipadelli called Larson to pit road for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco fuel and a minor adjustment. The No. 42 Cartwheel car quickly regained the lead, but just as the second caution arose on lap 53, Larson was passed and knocked to the second position. Under yellow, Zipadelli made the call for Larson to stay out on the track since he had very few laps on his tires, and after the restart, Larson charged to the lead once again. Larson and his Carthweel Chevy were able to hold the lead position under the third caution, but slipped back to the third position before the fourth yellow flag waved on lap 80. Zipadelli called Larson to pit road for a new set of tires, fuel and a slight adjustment, but with several cars on different pit strategies, Larson rejoined the field in the 15th position with 35 laps to go. For the first time during the 250-mile race, Larson found himself in heavy traffic, causing his Cartwheel Chevy to become very loose. As the laps wound down at the lightning-fast track, Larson managed to pass several competitors before crossing this finish line in eighth place.


Kyle Larson on Michigan International Speedway:

"We had a good weekend with the No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy. My Turner Scott Motorsports crew brought our winning car from Fontana here to Michigan and it definitely performed once again. We were able to lead a lot of laps today, which was awesome, because my car was so fast in clean air. Unfortunately, pit strategy just didn't fall in our favor and it was really tough to pass cars in traffic at the end; I got really loose. If we had a couple more laps on our side, I think I would've been able to gain a couple more spots. I thought for sure we would have a real shot at getting the win this time around after last year's second-place finish here, but once again, we were able to show how strong this team and organization is. We'll give it another shot in Kentucky."


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Steven B. Wilson

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