Kyle Larson’s Playoff Chances Take Huge Hit After L-1 Penalty

Kyle Larson was issued an L-1 Penalty on Wednesday for violating the sports damaged vehicle policy, which states that a team must repair a car using tape or fasteners. Unfortunately for Larson, who finds himself sitting outside of next round of the playoffs, his team was caught in post race inspection with metal tabs that were holding together parts of the car.

As a result of the penalty after Sunday’s race at Talladega Super Speedway, Kyle Larson has been docked ten driver points, Chip Gannasi Racing was docked ten owner points, crew chief, Chad Johnson was fined 25,000 dollars and car chief, David Bryant, was suspended for next week’s race at Kansas Motor Speedway,

With that being said, Larson now sits 36 points out of the 8th and final spot in the next round of the playoffs and will likely need a win at Kansas in order to secure that spot. Either that, or Martin Truex Jr or Clint Bowyer will have to have to fall out of the race early in order for Larson to gain the needed positions.

Interestingly enough, Kansas Motor Speedway is one of Larson’s worst tracks and he only has two top-fives and three top-ten’s in nine career races at the track. In fact, on driver averages.com, he currently sits as the 19th best driver at Kansas statistically, which is below that of both Martin Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer.

Looking further into Truex Jr and Bowyer’s record at Kansas, Martin Truex Jr stands as the 9th best driver at Kansas with two wins, seven top-fives and eight top-ten’s in 20 races at the track. Then there’s Bowyer, who is a Kansas native and sits 11th on the all time list with two top-fives and six top-ten’s in 20 starts at the track.

Larson will also have to contend with Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman, who are all looking for a win or a good finish to get them into the final eight. Of those three drivers however, Larson only has a better over all average than one of  those contenders, which is Alex Bowman. Even worse, Keselowski and Blaney both sit in the top seven in terms of averages.

In the end, its pretty much going to be a win and your in situation for Larson on Sunday, but it would have been anyway. Think about it. If the penalty hadn’t happened, Larson would still be 26 points back, which would be barely be enough to get in on points and would probably also require him to win.

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