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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

BREAKING NEWS: Engine Failure Knocks Out Kyle Larson

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Kyle Larson’s championship hopes are officially over for 2017.

Larson, one of the favorites to win the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, lost an engine just 73 laps into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

And with the engine problems, his title hopes are done.

“It sucks to have an engine failure, but it is what it is,” Larson said.

Larson came into the final race of Round 2 of the Cup playoffs third in points, with a 29-point cushion over the cutoff line to advance to Round 3. The Kansas race decided which eight drivers will move on to Round 3 and which four will be eliminated.

But Larson finished  39th of 40 drivers in the race and was  eliminated from championship contention.

“I felt it drop a cylinder or something,” Larson said of the Hendrick Motorsports-built engine in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. “Disappointing way to finish our race and probably our season, but we’ll be alright.”

Although he’s had by far the best season of his still-young Cup career, Larson’s title run ended on a bitter note.

“I guess, I’m not stunned because freak things happen in every sport,” said Larson, who has four race victories and 14 top fives this season. “I mean you look at every year in the past and a lot of times, most every time at least in the new Playoff format era not always does the best team win.  Not saying we are the best team, but we have been one of the contenders all season long.  So, I’m not stunned, because it is a long 10 race Playoff season, so anything can happen, but we have had a solid Playoffs.  We have been consistent and just now got bit.”

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with FOXSports.com, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.