BROOKLYN, Mich – Kyle Larson finally found his mojo again at the Michigan International Speedway. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver had won three straight times in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition on the Irish Hills race track between 2016 and 2017. In fact, in a four race span between those two years, he didn’t finish worse than third.
But, his three starts after were a struggle. Larson, had finishes of 28th, 17th and 14th respectively at Michigan. Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 started off looking like he’d finish with another sub 10th place effort.
He didn’t start off great as he rolled his No. 42 Chevrolet off in 17th. In practice this weekend, he was only 12th, 16th and 10th respectively. Then, on Lap 46 he was hit with a pit road speeding penalty, dropping him to outside of the top 20.
But, Larson did what he does best – rebound.
The California native charged back up to another top five finish en route to a third place run on Sunday afternoon. This gives him some much needed momentum heading into the most crucial point of the year as Larson now has scored 10 top 10 finishes on the season, six of which coming in the last eight weeks alone. His last five finishes are – 4th, 33rd, 5th, 8th and now 3rd respectively.
“I guess if you’re going to get a speeding penalty, the first run of the race is the time to do it,” Larson said. “But yeah, I was surprised when they said I was speeding because I hadn’t hit a read light at all until after leaving my pit stall. That was the only time I hit a red. I was conservative on my lights the rest of the day and maybe I don’t know if we just misjudged a little bit or maybe I just was a little too fast. But anyway, our race was good. Our car handled really well, so I was happy about that. And, we had a great points day. So we saved just enough fuel there at the end to get to the finish line and now we’re well above the cutline. So, I’m happy about our day.”
Larson, didn’t score any stage points on Sunday but due to his strong finish he made up 25 points on the playoff bubble leaving Michigan as he now holds a 71 point advantage with only three races remaining in the regular season.