Larson Credited with 13th Place in Daytona Debut
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 25, 2013) – Debuting in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) at Daytona International Speedway, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Larson performed flawlessly and put himself in contention for the win in the closing laps of the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday afternoon. Starting from the 21st position, Larson was able to draft his way to the lead with less than thirty laps remaining and was within striking distance of the leaders on the last lap. However, the No. 32 Clorox Chevrolet Camaro was tagged from behind and caught up in a multi-car incident on the last lap, which relegated Larson to a 13th place finish.
In the first segment of the 120-lap race, Larson reported to crew chief Trent Owens that he was trying to keep the engine cool in the Clorox Camaro so he would have something to race with at the end of the event. Owens and Larson agreed it would be best to ride near the back of the lead pack until just past halfway, when the young hot shoe decided to make a move and race towards the front. He maintained a solid running position inside the top-10 from the halfway mark forward, and was able to lead his first lap in NNS competition on lap 97.
An incident with less than five laps remaining in the race set the field up for a two-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Linking up with another competitor as soon as the green flag was displayed, Larson launched forward in pursuit of the lead once again. Making his way to the fifth position, Larson was within striking position of the leaders coming out of turn four on the last lap. Unfortunately, he was collected in a multi-car incident on the front stretch that sent his Clorox Camaro into the catch fence. After the incident, Larson was credited with a 13th place finish.
"First and foremost, I pray that everyone is okay and my thoughts are with all of the fans in the grandstands and those who were affected by the final lap incident," Larson said. "We had a great race going with the No. 32 Clorox team, and I was proud of the effort we made all weekend. We were in contention to win in my first start, and I think that says a lot about Turner Scott Motorsports as a whole."
-Kyle Larson made his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in the DRIVE4COPD 300.
-After making single car qualifying runs during the first practice and drafting with teammate Nelson Piquet, Jr in final practice, Larson qualified 21st but was happy with the performance of his Clorox Camaro in the draft.
-Drafting with the lead pack for the second half of the event, Larson was able to lead one lap and was en route to a top -10 finish before the incident on the front stretch credited him with a 13th place finish.