Ganassi's Larson Wins Xfinity Race In Chicago

Sunday's Cup Series Race Starting Early

Scott Stiller
July 01, 2018 - 9:16 am
No. 42 ENEOS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson passed Kevin Harvick with 60-laps remaining to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Larson won the pole position but was forced to start from the rear of the field after NASCAR penalized him because of an unapproved tire change after qualifying.  It didn’t take long for him to get to the front.

“We had a right front tire going down after qualifying,” said Larson.  “Goodyear gave us one fresh tire to put on the right front and the car was really loose that first run because I think the right front was working better than the other tires”.

Larson’s No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet finished sixth at the end of the race’s first stage and won the second stage.

Larson used the bottom of the track at the beginning of the run but once his tires began to wear the California native moved to the top of the track and was a rocket ship.

“You can look at any track where you can run inches off the wall and I will be faster than anybody,” said Larson.  “I could roll the corner a little bit quicker and then you have the straightaways and that’s where your lap times come from by being committed to the throttle”. 

Larson’s win was his second of the year in the Xfinity Series in just three starts.  He also won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Larson led three times for 80-laps and his margin of victory was 8.030-seconds.

Harvick finished second and Cole Custer finished third, his fifth consecutive top 5.

“We just had a great car,” Custer said.  “We probably were the best car out there.  I think Kyle Larson’s probably just the best driver at Chicago”.

Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top 5.

NOTES:

  • Paul Menard won the pole position for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race. Menard’s lap of 180.102 mph was the only lap in the final session of knockout qualifying to get under the 30-second lap time (29.998).  The pole is Menard’s first in a decade!
  • NASCAR has moved the starting time up for Sunday’s Overton’s 400 due to the forecast of rain.  The race is now scheduled to go green at 2:32 p.m. ET, 14-minutes earlier than originally scheduled.

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