Kyle Larson is on the lineup for Friday’s Hard Knox night at Knoxville Raceway; He doesn’t have plans to attend
The Knoxville Nationals is one of the few exceptions where Chip Ganassi allows his superstar NASCAR driver to compete in his full-time job and his full-time hobby in the same weekend.
Typically, Kyle Larson is limited in his dirt racing adventures. Usually, that means mid-week races. Rarely, is he allowed to compete in dirt races and NASCAR races within 24 hours of each other.
But, the Knoxville Nationals is a huge World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race that grants an exception. The dirt feature event takes place on Saturday night in Knoxville, Iowa. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competes in Brooklyn, Michigan. It’s a one hour and 30 minute flight that connects the two race tracks.
The Knoxville Nationals is the Daytona 500 of sprint car racing. So many cars show up that it turns into a week long event. Different groups of cars setup the mid-week portion of the show.
The fast guys from those night are then locked in and aren’t required to touch the track again until Saturday. That’s an ideal situation for NASCAR star Kyle Larson.
On Wednesday, Kyle Larson competed on the half mile dirt track. Larson was 9th quickest in qualifying of 53 cars. The #57 sprint car team unloaded with speed.
Larson started 7th in heat four. Yet, he also finished 7th in heat four.
That heat result relegated Larson to the B Main. He started 7th in the 12 lap event with the top 4 advancing to the Wednesday night feature.
Larson finished 6th in the B Main. He missed the main event on his preliminary night.
Ideally, Larson would be locked into Saturday’s main event already. The top 26 cars in points will not unload for Friday night’s event in Iowa. Those cars will sit in the hauler until Saturday.
Larson’s not locked in. Instead, he’s in a race for points. He’s currently 41st of the 109 cars at the dirt track this weekend. Again, only the top 26 are locked in.
Friday night’s event in Knoxville, Iowa is a good way to earn points. Of the cars that haven’t qualified, they’ll all race for points on Friday night.
At 5:05pm ET, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying will take place at Michigan International Speedway. Due to that, Larson will not be able to make it to Knoxville for the sprint car race.
Team PR reps confirmed that at the NASCAR track just moments ago.
There’s still a chance…
Larson still has a chance to qualify for the 2019 Knoxville Nationals. However, if he misses Friday night’s event, as planned, it will be a steep climb to make the show.
In that case, Larson will be buried deep in the alphabet mains on Saturday. He’ll have to race from the back to the front, in all of them.
That will be exciting to watch. But, there’s also a chance he doesn’t unload at all for the rest of the weekend.