Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson is among the drivers who will be hitting Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this weekend for the 2022 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 31, 2022. Unlike his teammate Alex Bowman, who will be racing in both Xfinity and Cup Series this weekend, Larson will be on single duty.
Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, the Elk Grove, California native scored a top-five finish after finishing seventh but later advanced to fifth place following Denny Hamlin and Busch’s disqualification.
The weekend’s Indy event will mark Larson’s second visit to the track. The last time he visited the track as a Cup driver, he left the track with a clean top-five finish, taking third place. Despite finishing third, Kyle Larson also learned something in the first race that he addressed ahead of his second race at the track.
According to Kyle Larson, turning one of the IMS is a wide and deep braking zone that contributed to last year’s restarts being more intense. Heading to this year’s event, Larson cited that in order to avoid being bombed, one must have the confidence to brake deep. He said:
“From what I remember of Indy (Motor Speedway Road Course) from last year, the restarts were really intense because turn one is a really wide and deep braking zone, so you can get four or five-wide before it narrows down in the corner. You have to find the confidence to brake deep so you don’t get bombed and that is difficult. It’s nice that it doesn’t have any elevation. It’s a fast-paced, ‘flowy’ type road course.”
Kyle Larson’s best finish in the last three road course races was a third-place finish at Road America, however, the first two left much to be desired. On the first road course, Larson posted a P29 finish at the Circuit of the Americas, followed by a P15 at Sonoma, before netting the P3 finish at Road America.
Kyle Larson’s performance in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season
Kyle Larson took the pole during the Sonoma race but failed to maintain it and finished P15. According to Larson’s crew chief, the mistake they made at Sonoma was to stay out of pit road, something they won’t be doing this weekend.
Larson and his crew chief plan to use the Road America strategy to flip the stages. They also plan to use short pits to maintain track position. The reigning champion is battling to win his second race of the season. With less than 15 races remaining, it will be hard for Larson to match his last year’s record, where he scored ten wins and 27 top-ten finishes.
During last year’s season, he scored nine back-to-back top-ten finishes, including four consecutive wins. Although he might not be able to match his last year’s record, he still has a chance to defend his championship. He is currently in fourth place in the standings with 661 points to his name.
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