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Jul 05, 2014 - 04:50 PM
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Exciting Battle To The End Leaves Larson With A Fifth-Place Finish At Daytona
Posted by: newsla on Jul 05, 2014 - 04:47 PM
Exciting Battle To The End Leaves Larson With A Fifth-Place Finish At Daytona

Kyle Larson and the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) put on an exciting Fourth of July show in their return to Daytona International Speedway on Friday night during the Subway Firecracker 250, and although Larson barely missed claiming the victory in the No. 42 Target Ticket Chevrolet, he and his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team scored their eighth top-five finish of the 2014 season.


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The 21-year old ran just 11 laps during the weekend's practice session and found himself a 10th-place starting position for the 100-lap shootout when rain forced the field to be set based off of the first and only round of knockout qualifying. Following a short rain delay, the green flag waved at the World Center of Racing and Larson found himself in a pack. By lap 30, Larson was working the outside lane when he notified crew chief Scott Zipadelli that his Target Ticket car was tight on exit. Shortly after, the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year made a green-flag pit stop, receiving four tires, fuel and a quick air-pressure adjustment. The lightning-fast stop allowed Larson to rejoin the field in the fourth position, and with competitors on different pit strategies, the Target Ticket Chevy quickly became the leader on lap 47. After leading five laps, Larson jumped to the outside to try to pick up another competitor in the draft and unexpectedly, the caution flag waved, causing Larson to lose four track positions. Zipadelli called the No. 42 Target Ticket car to pit road for a quick fuel-only stop and Larson rejoined the field in the fifth position. Knowing fuel strategy would play a factor at the end, Larson began saving fuel and worked throughout the top 10 during a long green-flag run. The field saw its second caution late in the race on lap 94 and Larson, continuing to save fuel, had worked his way into the fourth position. The yellow flag waved once again on lap 97 and the Target Ticket Chevy was in the perfect position for the green/white/checkered finish. Restarting in second position and leading the outside lane, Larson and fellow competitor Regan Smith battled side-by-side for the lead until the white flag waved. With one final dash to the finish line, the field quickly became three and four-wide, and Larson jumped to the middle line in hopes of getting a big push. The line, however, didn't have enough momentum, and despite Larson giving it his best shot, he drove his No. 42 Target Ticket Chevy across the finish line in fifth position, just a nose behind the leaders.

Larson and the No. 42 TSM team may not have found themselves in victory lane, but they did, however, have the quickest pit road times of the race. The No. 42 car remains third in the NNS Owner Point Standings.

Kyle Larson on Racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"That was a fun race tonight. We found ourselves in pretty good track position throughout the race and that allowed us to stay out of any messes at the end. My Turner Scott Motorsports team brought me the best car we've had this season at a restrictor plate track and even though I was tight early in the race, the car kept getting better as we made laps. I thought we were going to get the win at the end; I've always wanted a win here. My spotter Derek Kneeland did a great job tonight, as well as my team behind the wall. It was a good night for this team and we'll see if we can get us another win over the next few weekends."

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