Friday, November 17, 2017
Sports

Kyle Larson keeps getting closer to first Sprint Cup victory

RECOMMENDED READING


CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson believes he's on the verge of kicking in the door and getting his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win.

The 23-year-old seems to be getting close.

Larson finished second two weeks ago at Dover, then had a chance to win the All-Star exhibition race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend but lost control of his car and hit the wall after a challenge from Joey Logano. He wound up 16th, missing out on a losing out on a chance (albeit in a nonpoints race) at a $1 million first-place prize

"It would mean a lot to get it anywhere, but especially here at Charlotte, close to home," Larson said of his first Sprint Cup win. "We have been rolling good the last few weeks. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going. Our car has been getting a lot faster."

Whether it is fast enough in tonight's in the Coca-Cola 600 — NASCAR's longest race — remains to be seen.

There have been great expectations thrust upon Larson, the drive of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet who has gone 87 races without a Sprint Cup victory.

But his recent success, which includes his win in the third segment of the Sprint Showdown last week to race his way into the All-Star Race, has him feeling confident.

Just certainly not overconfident.

"A lot of the times I've seen drivers in the past that run well in the All-Star Race don't run well at the 600," Larson said. "Hopefully, that is not the case this week, but we are going to work really hard to try and have a good run. Hopefully, it all works out."

Larson, who starts 24th tonight, is expected to receive plenty of competition from Logano, who has won the last two races at CMS, including the fall race in October. Logano starts on the front row alongside pole-sitter Martin Truex.

"This has become one of our best race tracks for sure," Logano said. "Winning the last two races here, it gives you a lot of confidence going into races."

But Logano is quick to point out this will be the third different rules package in the past three races at CMS, and the track is always changing depending on the weather.

"It feels like it is something different every time," Logano said.

Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick has also been strong at CMS in recent years.

Harvick has a win, two second-place finishes and a ninth in his four points races since joining Stewart-Haas Racing. He won in October 2014 when he led 162 laps and beat Jeff Gordon to the finish line. He finished runnerup to Jimmie Johnson in May 2014 and Logano last October.

"I think we got everything straightened out over the last couple of years," Harvick said. "Since I got to Stewart-Haas Racing, it's been a really good racetrack for us and the results have been great."

Comments

Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders’ 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday’s Class 3A region final. The win placed the Marauders (11-0) in their fifth state tournament since...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling block to...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Ocala Vanguard 35, Mitchell 31

NEW PORT RICHEY — The start wasn’t quite befitting of a playoff game between undefeated teams, but the end of Friday’s war between Ocala Vanguard and Mitchell certainly was.Like last year’s Class 6A regional semifinal, the Mustangs held a three-point...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

ZEPHYRHILLS — For Zephyrhills, Friday night’s Class 5A region semifinal against Green Cove Springs Clay was doomed by 12 bad minutes. The Bulldogs led by four points at halftime but allowed 28 unanswered points in the third quarter and were not able ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood came into Friday’s playoff game knowing its defense had to help control field position against Jesuit. The Spartans (9-1) left Friday’s game with a ticket to Immokalee for a region final — and six Tigers (6-5) turnovers en r...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Tampa Bay Tech 42, Palmetto 26

TAMPA — Another Friday night, another offensive explosion.Tampa Bay Tech’s offense continued its torrid pace and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. accounted for five total touchdowns as the Titans rolled past Palmetto 42-26 in a Class 7A, Region 3 semifi...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Cambridge Christian 50, Indian Rocks Christian 14

TAMPA — The Cambridge Christian offense was clicking, and quarterback Jaylin Jackson couldn’t seem to be stopped. Still, as the second quarter clock dwindled, Indian Rocks Christian was hanging around.So with just more than a minute left in the half,...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Naples 24, Largo 0

NAPLES — In a game between two teams that had never met with a lot on the line, the Naples defense came up with one of its best efforts against Largo on Friday night.The Golden Eagles limited the Packers to 117 yards of offense in a 24-0 triumph in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Lakeland 52, Wiregrass Ranch 0

LAKELAND — It has been a historic season for the Wiregrass Ranch Bulls football team, which made consecutive playoff appearances for the first time, won its most games ever and experienced its first playoff victory.If this were a movie, the final sce...
Updated: 2 hours ago