Larson Battles Handling, Scores Third-Place Finish in Atlanta

31 Aug 2014
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Larson Battles Handling, Scores Third-Place Finish in Atlanta Getty Images

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet, battled handling issues throughout the evening, ultimately prevailing to bring home a solid third-place finish in his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

As the weekend kicked off at the Georgia track, Larson showed speed as he ran top-10 times during both practice sessions. Larson continued to improve and advanced to the final round of knockout qualifying, ultimately claiming a second-place starting spot for the No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy. As the 195-lap race began, Larson quickly settled into the top five, looking to find more grip on the racetrack and challenge for the race lead. Maintaining his spot within the top five until green-flag pit stops began to cycle through, Larson was called to pit road by crew chief Scott Zipadelli called on lap 50 for four tires, fuel and a few adjustments to improve the handling. Larson remained inside the top five until the first caution flew at lap 73. Under caution, Larson once again brought the Cartwheel Chevy down pit road for four tires and fuel, along with a wedge adjustment. Following the restart, Larson worked his way up to the third position before the second and final caution flag waved on lap 121. With Larson still experiencing loose conditions, Zipadelli brought his driver back down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. As the race resumed, Larson quickly settled into fourth, eventually working his way up to the third position during a long green-flag run. With just 12 laps remaining, Zipadelli opted for a quick green-flag pit stop to give Larson four fresh tires to race to the finish line. Larson wheeled the No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy past two competitors after rejoining the field and ultimately crossed the finish line in the third position. This marks the 11th top-five finish for Larson and his Turner Scott Motorsports team in 20 starts this season.

 

Kyle Larson on Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Well, that was somewhat of a frustrating night for our No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy team. We had a quick racecar all weekend; however, we just weren't able to challenge for the race lead like we had hoped heading into the night. This entire team worked hard to give me a solid car, but I wish I could've had better control of my handling to make more passes. I'm looking forward to getting to Richmond next week and redeeming myself from earlier this year. We keep getting these top-five finishes, but I think we're all ready for a win."

 

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Steven B. Wilson

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