Too bad Kyle Larson didn’t qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. If he did, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year favorite would rank third on the Chase Grid with an almost guaranteed spot in the Contender Round following his third-place finish at Chicagoland and runner-up showing at Loudon.
With his streak of top-five finishes on the line, Larson will attempt to spoil the afternoon for Chase hopefuls by capturing his first victory in the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). In the series’ first visit to the track earlier this season, Larson finished 11th. The 22-year-old has experienced NASCAR Nationwide Series success in Delaware’s capital with three top 10s in as many starts, including a runner-up finish last year.
On a similar run as Larson is his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray, who will also try to play spoiler after failing to make the Chase. McMurray rides into Dover with a streak of three top-10 finishes, including a fourth place performance at Loudon. The No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet driver has struggled at Dover with one top five and five top 10s in 23 starts there, but does bring in the momentum to be a legitimate contender this weekend.
Despite missing out on the Chase, the future looks bright for CGR.
“I guess there are a few other Chase guys that were contenders today, but me and Jamie the last two weeks have been really good,” said Larson following New Hampshire. “I know other teams that are in the Chase notice that and I’m sure they’re worried about us for next season already.”