By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
It’s been an up and down few days for Kyle Larson and his Chip Ganassi Racing team at Dover, but when the checkered flag flew on Sunday, Larson brought home a top-10 despite all of the setbacks.
On Friday, Larson rocketed to the pole with a lap of 22.770 seconds, 158.103 mph, and things were looking up for the No. 42 team heading into race day. However, multiple pre-race inspection failures would put the team behind the eight-ball to start the race.
Due to the inspection issues, Larson would have to give up his front row start, having to instead drop to the rear of the field for the green flag. He would also lose his car chief, David Bryant, for the race as a result of failing inspection three times.
When the race began, things went from bad to worse for Larson and his team as they were busted for an uncontrolled tire on pit road during green flag pit stops at lap 97. Larson would have to come back down pit road to serve his penalty, dropping him three laps down to the leaders.
By the time the first stage ended, Larson had gotten one of his laps back but still sat 29th on the leaderboard. He would continue to languish back around 20th place throughout the second stage as he fought to get back on the lead lap.
Throughout the final stage, Larson would finally make his way back on the lead lap and set his sights on climbing back toward the top-10.
With 75 laps to go, he cracked the top-10, but could progress no further as the laps wound down, finishing the race in 10th place.
“It was a hard-fought top 10 for sure,” said Larson. “We were three laps down at one point. I guess happy about the top 10. I was hoping we could pick off some cars there that last run once we finally got on the lead lap, but it was just so hard to pass. Everybody was the same speed until the very end of the run and then you could kind of move around. Found a little bit of time and was catching a few of them in front of me, but just ran out of time.”