Kyle Larson is currently riding a streak no driver wants to be a part of. After an excellent start to the season, Larson racked up his fourth consecutive DNF at Phoenix.
Up until four weeks ago, Larson was on the fast track to compete for a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Championship, but apparently the racing gods had other plans for the driver.
This past weekend in Phoenix, Larson suffered a blown engine shortly after the 100th lap of the race. His prior two races were cut short after the No. 42 car was involved in crashes.
“I think I was passing a lap car and when I lifted, I heard it start to blow up,” Larson said, as reported by Racer.com. “I was hoping it wasn’t but by the time I got back to the gas I knew it was done.
“It’s just unfortunate to have four DNF’s in a row; two from engines and then two from wrecks,” he said. “It’s a crappy way to end the season.”
With 11 laps remaining in the first stage of the race, Larson passed Denny Hamlin for his seventh stage win on the year. Larson was among the top 10 when he suffered the engine malfunction, that led to his early exit.
“It felt exactly like what happened at Kansas, probably a little bit worse,” said Larson. “So, I don’t know, it’s unfortunate,”
“I haven’t blown up an engine since my first two Cup starts in 2013, now I’ve had three this season,” he said.
Hendrick Motorsports. supplies Chip Ganassi Racing with the engines for their cars.
“It’s a little disappointing and definitely a bad time of year to have that stuff happen,” Larson said. “Hopefully, we can rebound from it and Hendrick can learn from it to prevent it from happening in the future.”
With four races wins on the season, he’s now matched that total in DNF’s. A win at Homestead would be great for team morale heading into the off season. Anything besides a DNF would probably be great at this point.