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Mar 24, 2013 - 05:07 PM
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Homecoming Brings Sixth-Place Finish For Larson At Fontana
Posted by: newsla on Mar 24, 2013 - 05:07 PM
Homecoming Brings Sixth-Place Finish For Larson At Fontana

Making his first career start at Auto Club Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) on Saturday, California native Kyle Larson had momentum on his side heading into the Royal Purple 300. Following a strong showing in practice and qualifying ninth, Larson kept the Eveready Camaro inside the top-10 of the running order for the majority of the afternoon. Overcoming a miscue on a pit stop just past the halfway point, Larson motored to a sixth-place finish.


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Crew chief Trent Owens and the No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports team worked to dial in the Eveready Camaro on the long run during the lone NNS practice session on Friday, which proved to pay off for the rookie driver on Saturday. Following the drop of the green flag, Larson was content to stay safely inside the top-10, telling Owens after the first 10 laps that he was pretty happy with his Eveready Camaro and needed very small adjustments on the first round of pit stops. Owens decided to call his driver to pit road under the first caution period of the day on lap 35, giving him four fresh tires and a minor adjustment. Larson’s Camaro responded well to the first changes, and he pushed forward a few more spots to move into the top-five by the halfway point, continuing to improve under lengthy green flag racing conditions.

Coming down pit road with the rest of the field under the third caution of the day, on lap 95, Larson carried too much speed while entering his pit box and had to be pushed back into his stall by the No. 32 crew. Losing precious seconds during the exchange, Larson would restart from the 15th position on lap 98. The 20-year-old wasted no time, however, and regained all of the spots he lost in just two laps. Under the final caution of the afternoon, just 10 laps later, Larson returned to pit road for a fuel-only stop. After rejoining the field in the eighth spot with 35 laps remaining, he went to work on the competitors ahead of him and picked off two more positions to claim a sixth-place finish.

"We had a pretty good weekend with the Eveready Camaro, and I’m happy to leave here with a solid finish and a good day in the points,” Larson said post-race. “I overshot my pit box during our third stop, and my Turner Scott Motorsports team did a great job to recover from that. I had a lot of fun on that restart and Trent Owens and this team gave me a fast Camaro that helped me get all those spots back. I’m looking forward to staying consistent and keeping up a good string of finishes like this.”


- Kyle Larson made his fifth career NNS start at Auto Club Speedway in his first trip to the 2-mile oval for the Royal Purple 300 on Saturday, March 23.

- Running the most laps of any team during the lone practice session on Friday, the No. 32 Eveready team found a good setup for the long run and ended the session second quickest. During qualifying on Saturday morning, Larson fought a loose condition in turns 1 & 2 and qualified ninth.

- Battling inside the top 10 for most of the afternoon, Larson made a charge towards the lead after the final restart and pushed his way to a sixth-place finish.

- After Saturday’s race, Larson now sits ninth in the current NNS point standings, 54 points behind leader Sam Hornish Jr.

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