At this point of the season in any of Kyle Larson’s first three years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, he would have ,oved to have the start to a year that he’s having in 2017. In his rookie year in 2014, Larson’s first four finishes out the gates were 38th, 20th, 19th and 10th respectively. In 2015, he had runs of 34th, 26th, eighth and 10th respectively. Last year, he finished seventh, 26th, 34th and 12th respectively.
12th (leading on the last lap of the Daytona 500 but ran out of gas), second, second and second respectively. Instead of being on cloud nine with three straight runner-up finishes and the points lead entering this weekend’s race at Fontana, Larson is growing frustrated.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver would love to cash one of those runner-ups into a victory. If you date back to the season finale of the 2016 season at Homestead, a second place run there too for Larson, he has had four second place finishes in his last five Cup starts. Then, if you go back a week prior to that at Phoenix last November, he has five top threes in six races.
Unfortunately, out of those five top three finishes in his last six Cup starts, he’s had zero wins. Furthermore, he’s only led 26 total laps this year. Now, he heads to the Auto Club Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN) wanting a win.
Larson, has one career Cup victory and that came on a similar track to Fontana at Michigan a year ago. At Fontana, he finished second as a rookie in 2014. In four XFINITY Series starts there, he won in 2014 and has a sixth, seventh and eighth place finishes respectively in the other three tries.
That’s why he’s the favorite to watch this weekend in Fontana. Can he turn those frustrating second place finishes into a win?
I say yes.