Trackbar issues rob Kyle Larson of shot at Kentucky win
Kyle Larson was able to run down and pass Martin Truex Jr. during the final stage at Kentucky, but his time ahead of the No. 78 was short-lived.
Larson's night started off on the wrong foot when he missed driver introductions, forcing him to relinquish his starting position (18th) and go to the rear of the field.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver did not stay back there for long however, charging through the pack and ending the first stage as the highest-running Chevrolet driver in eighth. By the end of Stage 2, he was inside the top-five. And after the restart to commence the final stage, he made his way by Truex for the second position behind Brad Keselowki, who's two-tire strategy had put him out front.
Larson was in a great position to fight for the win, but suddenly, his car began to fall off as he battled a misbehaving trackbar. He slipped back outside the to-five and when the final caution of the race came on Lap 208, he gave up even more track position as the No. 42 crew tried to rectify the problems.
“It’s hard to say if I would have had anything to win," Larson said after the race. "I drove by the No. 78 and then right after that we had our trackbar issue there and went plowing tight. Then we had to crutch it with wedge there the last run and it drove okay, just built being back really tight at the last 25 laps or so. So, yeah, it’s hard to say if I would have won or not, but I would have at least liked to have had the shot.”
He later added, "it’s frustrating because I feel like I had a car capable of competing with them. I felt like I was better than (Kevin Harvick). I passed (Kyle Busch) a couple of times, passed (Truex) there before that second to last run. I passed him and kind of drove away from him for a few laps until right when our trackbar broke. Like I said, it’s hard to say if I would have had a shot to win. You never know how these races will play out, but I would have loved to have had a shot.”
Ultimately, the team put several rounds of wedge in the car in an attempt to offset the issues and sent him on his way. Larson did a fine job salvaging a decent night, driving back up to the ninth position in the final running order.
“I’m not exactly sure what happened to (the trackbar)," explained Larson. "It was down five and a half inches on my dash and I could move it. They couldn’t move it under the pit stops and like I said they had to crunch it with the wedge so I’m not sure what causes that, but it happened.”
Larson leaves Kentucky eighth in the championship standings, still in search of his first win in the 2018 season.
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