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Larson Lacking Speed Prior to the DAYTONA 500

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — This season’s edition of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway has not been the best for Kyle Larson. The driver of the No. 42 Credit One Chevy Camaro has encountered problems during his time at Daytona this month.

Starting with last Sunday, when Larson qualified 32nd for the Great American Race. Later on in the day, he wrecked his race car during the Advance Auto Parts Clash. Larson knew that things needed to turn around Thursday during the Gander RV Duel, but it still didn’t go his way.

Larson finished 12th after he was left from the main pack due to losing the draft in the race. A lack of speed is something that is concerning Larson about his race car.

“I felt a little bit loose, but like I said we need more speed, like I lost the draft there,” Larson told POPULAR SPEED.

Larson seemed a bit frustrated with his car but knows it can improve on Sunday during the race. After winning last July in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver looks to use his skill as an advantage.

Hopefully, it can go better than his previous DAYTONA 500 attempts with only one top-10 in five appearances which came back in 2016. Larson might also want to get up front and lead some laps, as he’s only led 16 laps in his entire career at Daytona in the Cup series.

His car is not where he wants it to be, but Larson is not panicking. His veteran experience in these types of races still give him the thought that he can take the victory on Sunday.

“Well you just, I don’t know you don’t get a good idea how your car is, you’re just working on single car runs,” Larson  said.“So it’s kind of it is what it is here.”

On Friday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars had two practice sessions, with Larson was scored in 35th in the first.

“I’d like to be a lot faster, but I think it’s too late to find speed like that,” Larson said.

On a positive side, single car run speeds do not make a big impact to the race. Larson has a chance to be consistent in the pack and work his way to the front. He will be starting 26th for the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday.

“It doesn’t even matter once you get in the race, either you just try to miss some wrecks and hopefully have a clean car by the end of the race.”

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Bryan Rivero

Bryan Rivero is a senior at Florida International University school of Communications and Journalism with a focus in Broadcast Media. He currently resides in Miami, FL where he has lived his whole life. In addition to POPULAR SPEED, Rivero is a marketing intern for the Florida Panther’s Hockey Club.