After third-place run, Kyle Larson’s car fails post-race inspection

Kyle Larson is still looking for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race win, but he continues to edge ever closer to Victory Lane.

Larson, who drives the No. 42 Chevrolet for team owner Chip Ganassi, had a great run Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, where he finished third in the FireKeepers Casino 400 behind race-winner Joey Logano and rookie Chase Elliott.

It was Larson’s third top-five finish of the season and the second in the last four races, a period in which his worst finish was a still-respectable 13th at Charlotte.

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And while Larson didn’t win, there’s no question he and the team are making meaningful progress.

"The Target Chevy was really fast," said Larson. "I think we had a third or fourth-place car. So, thanks to all these guys for working hard at the shop on not having much time to figure out this aero package and bring a nice piece here."

Getting close is good, but sealing the deal will be better, as it always is.

"I wish we could have gotten a win," he said. "But, we’ll keep fighting and hopefully we can run up front more often."

Larson, who grew up racing on dirt, is a fan of the new lower downforce aero package NASCAR used at MIS. But with Logano out front for 138 of 200 laps, Larson knew he and Elliott were likely racing for second. 

"I’m not sure there was anything I could have done there," Larson said. "…I just had good restarts and kept some track position, it seemed like. It might have been hard to pass. So, just staying out front the whole time was a big key."

But after the race, there was drama for Larson and his team, as his car failed post-race tech on NASCAR Laser Inspection Station.

At MIS, Larson raced without crew chief Chad Johnston, who was serving a one-race suspension for lug nut issues last week and is on probation until the end of the year.

Expect NASCAR to issue a penalty on Wednesday, but what that penalty is remains to be seen.