KANSAS CITY, Kan. (October 5, 2014) – In his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Larson dealt with handling issues throughout the weekend. Despite a solid effort by his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team, damage from a mid-race accident left Larson unable to complete the 200-lap event, relegating him to a 30th-place finish in the Kansas Lottery 300.
With only one NNS practice session due to weather in the Kansas City area, Larson and his TSM team struggled to find a solid package for the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet to take on the 1.5-mile oval. After several adjustments following practice, Larson was able to score a ninth-place starting spot for the Cartwheel Chevy, and his TSM team felt much better about their chances to contend for the win. Shortly after the green flag waved, the track saw its first two cautions within the first 15 laps and Larson told crew chief Scott Zipadelli that his machine felt a tad loose in the opening laps. When the third caution arose on lap 22, however, the handling on the No. 42 car had drastically changed from loose to tight. Zipadelli wasted no time calling Larson to pit road for four tires, fuel and a quick adjustment. Being just one of a few competitors to take four tires on pit road, Larson rejoined the field in the 12th position and settled in until the next caution flag waved on lap 44. Zipadelli called Larson back to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to help free up his exit in Turn 4 as well as his speed through Turns 1 and 2. Still extremely tight, Zipadelli opted to take a big swing at the Cartwheel Chevy when the fifth yellow flag waved on lap 75. After taking four tires and fuel, along with track-bar, wedge and air-pressure adjustments, Larson rejoined the field in the 20th position, hoping to charge to his way to the front. After making less than 15 laps, however, Larson began to feel a slight vibration as he entered Turn 1 on lap 91. As he exited Turn 2, his Cartwheel Chevy snapped loose, sending him up into the wall at full speed. Unharmed, Larson drove his severely damaged machine to the garage for a thorough look. Despite hard work and a strong effort by the No. 42 TSM team, the Cartwheel Chevy suffered irreparable damage and was unable to return to the track for the remaining 109 laps, ultimately scored in the 30th position when the checkered flag waved.
Kyle Larson on his unfortunate finish at Kansas Speedway: “This entire weekend was frustrating, unfortunately. We only had one practice to get things right and, despite everyone’s efforts, we just couldn’t get our Cartwheel Chevy dialed in. Zippy and the guys did a great job getting our car where it needed to be for qualifying, but as soon as we started the race, it got tight on us again. The guys made a lot of changes throughout the race; I’m not sure what happened. I felt a little vibration as I was going into Turn 2, but I’m not sure if that made me loose or what. Either way, it’s an unfortunate day for this entire Turner Scott Motorsports team. Kansas is tough. I’m looking forward to racing at Charlotte [Motor Speedway] next weekend though. Last time we were there, we got a win, so I hope we can turn our luck around for the last few races of the season.”