Kyle Larson won 2014 Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the No. 42 Chevrolet for Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. He will file a Blog periodically on IMS.com, chronicling his second year in Sprint Cup. This week he talks about breaking through last week at Dover with his best finish of the year, sitting (quietly) in on a drivers’ meeting with NASCAR and looking back at the 2015 Indianapolis 500.
After a tough race at Charlotte for the “600,” Dover was a good weekend for us. We were fast right off the truck for practice and ended up qualifying third for Sunday. In the race we ran about sixth or seventh for most of the day, then about two-thirds of the way through the race we were getting passed a lot and fell back quite a bit. We came in for a pit stop and fortunately were able to get the car handling better. After that, on every restart we were able to gain a couple spots each time, and on the last one the outside row just took off way better than the inside and we got to third. Would have been nice to have had a shot at the win, but with the way our season’s been, a top-three finish was really good for us.
I hope our run in Dover can translate into some momentum for us, that’s really what we’ve been lacking. We’ve had speed in our cars, we just haven’t finished well. Maybe if we can string together a couple of good races, we can run at the front more often and challenge for a win or two, and hopefully get a win before the Chase starts. I know we’re going to need a win in order to make the Chase. I honestly haven’t been paying attention to the points all year because I know where I’ve been finishing in the races and I figured I wouldn’t be up there. Just got to keep running the best we can and hopefully things will work out and we can get in a win.
Off the track at Dover, I was part of a drivers’ council meeting with some drivers and NASCAR officials. We were just trying to come up with ideas about what we can do differently or change that will make the sport better. I thought it went well, and completely understand that NASCAR’s in a tough spot trying to balance some of the changes the drivers want with the costs to the teams. Since I’m still pretty new to stock car racing and the Sprint Cup Series, I don’t really speak in there because I don’t have much of an opinion on what the racing used to be like. I kind of sit back and listen. But, if there’s ever some time where I feel like I have something to say, I’ll speak up. It’s pretty neat to be a part of a group like this so early in my career.
The last time I checked in here, I talked a little about the Indy 500, and this year was another great race and exciting as ever. I was rooting on Scott (Dixon) and Tony (Kanaan), but Juan (Pablo Montoya) was really good at the end. It was really tough to pass him. All the Ganassi cars were fast, it just didn’t work out for them. Maybe next year. I know I’ll be watching.
Until next time,