Entering Kansas Speedway, Kyle Larson was third in points and trailed Martin Truex Jr. by 24 for the points lead. Exiting Kansas, his run at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2017 left with his expired engine.
Larson hit pit road for possible engine issues on Lap 67, saying later that it felt like a dropped cylinder. Three laps later, he was back on track. He was told to run until the car couldn’t run anymore.
Well on Lap 77, the engine couldn’t run anymore as it gave way on the front stretch and brought out the second caution of the Hollywood Casino 400.
“Well it just dropped a cylinder 10 laps ago or so and then it suddenly got worse and finally blew up,” Larson said. “I hate that we blew an engine and probably blew our shot at the championship, but luck is a big factor of our sport.”
When asked his emotional state, he said he couldn’t say.
“I guess it’s sinking in as each second passes by. But I don’t know,” he said. “Things happen. You look at the past playoffs and the No. 78 (Truex) had an engine issue last year and he was the best car all year; and then us, this year. So, it’s disappointing. But there’s still a long race left to go and maybe we can get lucky (he said prior to the end and his elimination).”
Larson left with a 39th-place finish and dropped to ninth in points, thanks to the points reset.