This year, Kyle Larson enters his rookie season of competition in the Sprint Cup Series and for any rookie, most of the tracks can be tough in tryng to learn how to tackle the challenge that lies ahead. However, Darlington brings forth a whole new animal as it has been called the track “too tough to tame”.
“As far as Darlington goes definitely the toughest track we go to I think,” Larson commented. “Both ends are so different, (turns) 1 and 2 is a lot faster corner and then the exit slows up a lot.”
Larson has learned that it’s a tough track the tough way as he got up into the wall pretty hard during practice, resulting in the back-up car having to be pulled out. Beyond that, he made significant contact during Nationwide Series qualifying and throughout that race on Friday night on his way to finishing sixth.
“I’m proud of my Target guys for working really quick to get us back out there in first practice and preparing a really good back-up car,” Larson noted. “We fired off and were just a little bit slower than our primary, but they worked on it some and felt like we were really good in second practice.”
Larson would post a solid time in qualifying, as he qualified 17th to be the highest rookie.
“I need to get better to just get around the track faster,” Larson added. “I feel like the car handles okay. I just have to figure out some things. It’s a little bumpy off (turn) 2 so that is what’s tricky and then loose off (turn) 4. So I guess it’s just that both ends are way different so just got to figure it out.”
So far this year, Larson has handled all the other challenges sent his way solidly, posting three top 10s in the first seven races this year.
“Every week I feel like we have had great speed,” Larson commented. “Our car has been in the top 10 I feel like most races. Martinsville was probably our worst one and that’s a lot of it to do with me. I think we have been doing a great job. The first couple of races we made some mistakes, but now it seems like we have kind of got some momentum and figuring things out and the races have been going smoother for us. We have been getting solid finishes so just have to keep that little streak going and just be consistent.
“So far there have been a lot of winners so you have to put yourself in position for later in the season if the 16 fill up and you don’t have a win. I feel like we should get a win here shortly.”