Making his first career Daytona International Speedway start in the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV America Real, Kyle Larson began his journey to receive NASCAR approval to compete on restrictor plate tracks with an 11th-place qualifying effort and very little practice prior to Saturday’s main event. Fulfilling his goal to stay out of trouble and gain a solid finish in the 80-lap shootout, Larson veered away from turmoil and was credited with a second-place finish.
Moving up from his 11th-place starting position before the completion of lap one, Larson settled into a comfortable rhythm until the first caution on lap 10. Electing to bring his driver down pit road for the only stop of the day, crew chief Trent Owens made the call for fuel only to the Cessna Chevrolet team. Larson rejoined the field and remained in a holding pattern until breaking into the top five at the halfway point. Running single file on the final lap, Larson tried to use some lapped traffic to his advantage and break the draft to catch the leader. The move wasn’t quite enough, but Larson was able to secure the second-place finish.
“My first restrictor plate experience wasn’t too intense, but when I had to go three wide around lapped traffic a few times it got pretty exciting,” Larson explained after climbing from the Cessna Impala. “I feel like I learned a lot about side drafting today, but that’s about all I’ll be able to carry over into the Nationwide race next week. If I’m approved to do that race, I’ll have to do a lot of learning again, but hopefully I’ll catch on quickly like today and we can get up front at the end to compete for the win.”
Pending NASCAR approval, Kyle Larson’s next event with Turner Scott Motorsports will be the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, February 23rd at Daytona International Speedway. ESPN and MRN affiliated radio stations will have live coverage.