Kyle Larson has certainly had an emotional roller coaster of a season. His highs, like winning his first Monster Energy All-Star race last month have been tremendous. But Larson has also suffered four DNFs in the last eight races. He’s tied with Jimmie Johnson at 16th in the points standings – the last transfer spot into the Playoffs.
In between the tough luck, the popular 25-year old Californian has excelled – even if he’s still looking for his first points-paying win since his victory at Richmond in the 2017 regular season finale. Michigan has been THE best venue on his resume. His three consecutive wins in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the track from 2016-2017 has only been matched twice before in NASCAR history – by a couple NASCAR Hall of Famers. Bill Elliott won four-straight at Michigan – sweeping the 1985 and 1986 seasons. And David Pearson won three-straight in 1972-73 seasons. Among this weekend’s starting field, only veteran Kurt Busch has equaled Larson’s three wins.
Certainly, Larson’s win in the 2017 second Michigan race was his most dominant performance of the victory trio. He won the pole position and led a race best 96 laps. When he won the following spring, Larson was ranked second in the championship standings, his highest career Cup ranking.
At this point for Larson, however, a victory this weekend is as much about restoring his championship run as it is a place in track history. Last year he finished 28th and 17th in the two Michigan races.
In this season’s previous four races leading into Michigan, Larson has a season best third place at Dover and an eighth place at Kansas before getting collected in a crash at Charlotte and finishing a disappointing 26th at Pocono last weekend.