Larson's Extra Homework

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson has struggled with shifting gears with his Sprint Cup car, so his team came up with a unique way to help him get better. (Photo: Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. - Kyle Larson has a new ride but it’s not by choice.

After missing shifts in his racecar during recent tests at Pocono and Road Atlanta, Larson’s team had him get a street car with a stick shift to keep practicing.

“It seems like I’m probably the worst shifter of all time in a stock car,’’ Larson said after qualifying on the pole for Saturday’s ARCA race at Pocono. “It’s kind of embarrassing missing a lot of shifts.

“That’s my biggest worry going into this weekend, making sure I don’t miss any shifts. My timing is just off. I think I try to rush things too quick, and I start missing shifts.’’

Larson’s penalty is to drive a black Camaro SS when he’s home. This isn’t the first time he’s driven a street car with a stick shift - which he admits is  “why it is more embarrassing.’’

He says the Camaro such a powerful car and he’s driving it on neighborhood streets that it makes him feel self-conscious.

“I feel like one of those 16-year-old kids who just got their license, revving it up and listening to the engine pop,’’ Larson said.

“I can’t wait to get through all the tracks that we have to shift at a lot and get back into an automatic.’’

Larson also will work on his shifting on the track. He’s scheduled to attend a Bondurant driving school Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of Sunday’s Pocono 400 from Pocono Raceway. Air time is noon (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

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