CONCORD, N.C. — official release — Jonathan Moore/Getty Images North America photo — Too bad Kyle Larson missed out on qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
If he made NASCAR’s playoffs, the 22-year-old would be sitting pretty in second on the Chase Grid.
Through the first four Chase races, Larson has accumulated the second-most points (164) and boasts an average finish of 3.25 (also second-best), posting two runner-up performances, one third-place showing and a sixth-place effort.
The consolation prize? He can play spoiler.
Larson will attempt to notch his first-career victory and erase an automatic Eliminator Round qualifying spot this Saturday at Charlotte. He finished 18th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May, but won the companion NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the 1.5-mile quad oval.
The No. 42 Target Chevrolet driver has been the highest-finishing rookie 21 times this year and holds an 86-point lead over Austin Dillon in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race. At Kansas on Sunday, he set season bests in driver rating (118.4) and number of fastest laps (49).
Larson believes he’ll finally break through soon and capture his elusive first victory.
“The wins will be coming,” said Larson following Kansas. “So I just have to be patient and with every time I am in the top three, it’s just going to make the wins feel that much better.”