It was a good week to be Kyle Larson.
On Wednesday, Larson took home a win at Eldora in the Camping World Truck Series, then contended for the win in the XFINITY Series on Saturday and finished fourth. Then on Sunday, the 23-year-old ended up fifth in the Sprint Cup Series race.
Entering Sunday, Larson needed a solid day as he was coming off a stretch of two races with finishes outside the top 15. The No.42 spent the majority of the event inside the top 10 and avoided the late race incidents.
“I don’t know that I was expecting much more than a top five,” Larson said. “I didn’t know we’d have that speed in our car. And we were probably a fifth- or seventh-place car. But I was able to get some good restarts there at the end. It was just a solid day for the whole Target team. The Energizer Chevy was good from the start, which helps. We qualified good for once, and it was just a solid weekend.”
The fifth-place finish serves as a majoring stepping stone for both Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing as a whole. Larson has not only erased a 25-point gap to the Chase cutoff, but currently qualifies for the Chase with a 10-point advantage over Kasey Kahne. So for the time being, CGR has both Larson and Jamie McMurray in the Chase.
With just six races remaining to the cutoff, a story to watch will be whether the Ganassi teammates end up making the Chase. Larson and McMurray have five top 10s each in 2016. However, in two full-time seasons, Larson has yet to make the Chase. Perhaps this will be his year.
Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
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