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Kickin The Tires

Opinion: Phoenix could be a trip to victory lane for Kyle Larson

Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet cruises to victory lane in the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway, his first win at the 1-mile low-banked tri-oval in 13 career starts.

I believe this very statement could occur on Sunday and before you shoot down the possibility, hear me out.

Larson has yet to find victory lane at Phoenix and only had one-win last season at Dover International Speedway in the fall, but he’s good at this track. I think this weekend could jump start his first multi-win season since his four victories in 2017.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has only started worse than 12th once in his previous 12 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track. That start a 31st starting spot in this same race one year ago, but Larson went on to finish sixth.

Aside from a consistent starting average of 8.0, Larson only has two finishes outside the top-six in his last seven starts.

In his last three Phoenix races, Larson has finishes of third, sixth, and fourth. With Phoenix now the season-finale race, there is no doubt teams will without a doubt look for the win, but also a solid race to refer back to at seasons end.

A tough race in Fontana resulted in a 21st place finish, but Larson also knows they’ve previously run well at Phoenix, saying, “We have been able to run well at Phoenix in the past, and with it being the season finale this year, we’ll be looking for a good race this weekend.”

Clearly, looking at statistics Larson is sure to contend for his first win of 2020 on Sunday afternoon. Mark my words now, even if he doesn’t win, I believe he will capture his third top-10 of the season.

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