NASCAR

Kyle Larson’s speed at Talladega NASCAR Cup race ’embarrassing’

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Kyle Larson says his pace in the NASCAR Cup series weekend at Talladega was “embarrassing at times”, calling on Chip Ganassi Racing to invest more in its restrictor-plate package.

Larson qualified a dismal 34th for the playoff race after he was penalised due to his team making unapproved adjustments to his car, at a time when he has yet to qualify for the next round of the playoffs.

He was a lowly 29th in final practice and fared little better in the race, before a timely caution in the second stage put him back on the lead lap.

Larson avoided late collisions to finish 11th, meaning he is 11th in the overall standings and 26 points away from progressing into the next stage of the playoffs. He will likely need victory at Kansas to progress.

“We just had a terrible race car and were really slow all weekend,” said Larson.

“So it’s pretty disappointing – embarrassing at times – especially in practice and qualifying.

“We were able to get an 11th, salvaged a decent day but we’re still in a position where we need to win next week.

“But 11th doesn’t matter, even second wouldn’t matter, we just need to have a good weekend in Kansas, it’s always been a good track for us.

“That’s promising, to go to a track where we’ve ran well at, led a lot of laps and challenged for wins. Hopefully we’ll have a good race and do something special.”

When asked about Ganassi’s traditional struggles on restrictor-plate races, Larson said: “You’d like to bury this [result] but at the same time, it’d be nice to invest some money into our superspeedway cars. Money and time.

“We focus so much on mile-and-a-half stuff, which is obviously important, but these plate races mean a lot, there’s a lot of points to be made at Daytona and Talladega.

“I feel like we never really tried to improve as an organisation really since I’ve been at CGR.”

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