Just call him two-mile Kyle if you want. There’s been nobody better on both two-mile D-Shaped NASCAR tracks over the last two years than Kyle Larson. In fact, if you go back to August of 2016, no one has won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series nor NASCAR XFINITY Series race that Larson had entered at both the Auto Club Speedway or Michigan International Speedway, other than Larson himself.
In 2016, Larson earned his first career Cup victory at Michigan. There was no XFINITY Series race at Michigan in August. At Fontana last Spring, Larson swept the weekend in winning the XFINITY Series race on Saturday and Cup race on Sunday. In both races at Michigan last year (June and August), Larson won both again.
That’s five straight wins for him. In fact, out of his five career Cup victories, four of which are either at Fontana or Michigan. So, will he extend that streak this weekend in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)?
Right now, I’d say no.
That’s even with him being fifth, fourth and sixth respectively in the three practices and being fourth and second respectively on the 10 lap average chart.
Larson, has struggled out of the gates in 2018. He currently sits eighth in the Cup points standings four races in. He has just one finish inside the top five and that was a third place run in Vegas. Other than that, his finishes are 19th (Daytona), ninth (Atlanta) and 18th (Phoenix). He’s led a combined 54 laps this year.
But, some of this can be pinned on the new Chevrolet Camaro too. In the offseason, Chevy moved from the old SS to the new Camaro. It would certainly cause a new learning curve that’s for sure. But, Larson has been staunch that he doesn’t notice a big difference in the two cars as far as drive ability.
Stats, say otherwise.
Chevy drivers have combined to lead just 129 of the 1,111 laps run in 2018. For example, Larson led 110 laps alone last March in his win at Fontana.
Does Chevy get things figured out on a track that promotes speed?