Larson Worst to Almost First Again

Kyle Larson

"Finished second, but another hard fought race." (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kyle Larson came from the last starting spot to finish second in Sunday’s Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver turned the fastest time in qualifying Friday for the race. But his time was disallowed by NASCAR for a rear deck lid violation and he was sent to the rear of the field.

 
But for the second straight week, Larson charged his way to the front. Just as he did last week at Kentucky Speedway when he took the green flag shotgun on the field for not getting though inspection in time to qualify, Larson was quickly on the move Sunday at New Hampshire.
 
He had his sights set on race winner Denny Hamlin’s lead in the final laps and despite closing ground, was forced to settle for his seventh runner-up performance of 2017.
 
“Finished second, but another hard fought race,” Larson said after Sunday’s race.  “You know, this is the third time we've had to start last and drove up to second.  I wish we could have been a spot better again, but really proud of my team and proud of the cars that they're bringing for me to drive each and every week.”
 
While Larson was able to cut down Hamlin’s advantage as the laps wound down, he ultimately ran out of time to try and challenge for the lead.
 
“I was catching him a couple tenths of a lap there, and then it seemed like when I got kind of close there, I don't know, within four or five car lengths at the end, my lap times kind of evened off a little bit with him, I started getting too tight on exit, and I couldn't carry the speed on exit like I needed to,” he explained.  “I'd gain a lot on him on entry, but I couldn't keep the power down and keep the front turning on exit there that last run.”
 
Sunday’s performance topped a trying week that included Friday’s qualifying violation as well as a penalty assessed by NASCAR earlier in the week for a brake cooling hose violation found in post-race inspection after Kentucky.
 
Larson is hoping those kinds of challenges are in the rear view mirror.
 
“It's been a tough couple weeks through the tech line, so if we make it through here and then have a good Tuesday at NASCAR, but we'll see,” Larson joked.
 

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