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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Larson Looks to Turn Frustration into Motivation

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This past weekend, Kyle Larson ran what most can say was his best race of 2018. That’s right, after qualifying in the sixth position, the California native brought the No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 home in second place.

After showing signs of inconsistency this season, Larson scored his highest finish of 2018.

Although they have scored three top-fives this season and have an average finish of 13.1, the No. 42 team has encountered a few tough weekends so far this year.

In early March at Phoenix, Larson qualified second but suffered from a bad handling race car which conclusively allowed him to finish in the 18th position. A few weeks later at Martinsville, Larson began the race in the top ten but faded during the event and placed 16th.

Then came Texas, where Larson seemed to be having a promising day until his car slammed the wall hard. The car was totaled, and he entered the Bristol race weekend with a giant bruise on his arm.

But the bruise didn’t seem to slow him down.

In fact, Larson paced a majority of the race, 200 laps to be exact. While leading, Larson was once the cause of a caution, but kept his car off the wall, which allowed him to capture the lead once again later in the event.

The No. 42 team finished the weekend strong, but Larson left “Thunder Valley” frustrated that he couldn’t close it out.

“I hate that I didn’t win, Larson said after the race. “It’s another one at Bristol. I feel like every time I race here I almost get a win. It was a fun race. I’ve been beat by Kyle (Busch) about every time I race here, too; so that gets frustrating after a while.”

Surprisingly, his second-place finish on Monday was his first top-five at the half-mile short track.

But the entertainment of the battle between Kyle’s won’t end there. Next weekend we go on to Richmond, where both Larson and Kyle Busch have seen success.

Last time we were there, Larson was spraying Gatorade in victory lane which gave him momentum going into the Playoffs and went on to capture top-five finishes in the next three events.

His frustration after Bristol may easily turn into a more prosperous season and next week we may be talking about his second straight victory at Richmond.


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Brandon Rivero

Brandon Rivero lives 45 miles north of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Born and raised in Miami, FL, he currently is a student at Florida International University school of Communications and Journalism with a focus in Public Relations. In addition to POPULAR SPEED, Rivero is a member of his university's Public Relations Student Society of America and an intern for the Florida Panthers NHL Club.