LOUDON, N.H. â Itâs a good thing Kyle Larson enjoys the shifting challenges presented by New Hampshire Motor Speedway, because heâll need all his skills to salvage a strong finish after starting from the rear in Sundayâs Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
In Saturday morningâs practice at the âMagic Mile,â Larson locked up the brakes on his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet entering Turn 1 and slammed into the outside wall. Damage to the right front of the car dictated a switch to a backup for Sundayâs race.
âI just locked up the brakes,â Larson said. âSimple as that â locked âem up.â
Since he will be driving a backup car, Larson must give up the 15th-place starting spot he earned during time trials Friday and drop to the rear of the field for the beginning of the race. That will give him plenty of opportunity to test his talent as he tries to move forward.
It will also test his teamâs ability to keep up with a track that changes throughout the 301-lap event.
âItâs a fun place because itâs definitely changing quite a bit,â Larson said. âThere is a lot of VHT (traction compound) put down at this track and, with it being flatter, I also feel like it wears out more so than other race tracks.
âThatâs fun to keep up with, especially during the race where you have to adjust your line throughout the race to keep up with the changing track conditions. I think, being a dirt-track guy, that benefits me a little bit.â
Given his starting spot in the relatively short race, Larson will need all the help he can get.