Oh boy. Here we go again with Kyle Larson’s No. 42 team.
Two days after NASCAR slammed the 42 with a major penalty — a three-race crew chief suspension, $75,000 fine and 35-point deduction — Larson won the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
At least for about 45 minutes. After Larson’s car went through post-qualifying inspection, NASCAR discovered the car’s rear decklid fin was unapproved. NASCAR indicated the fin was designed to move when it wasn’t supposed to be — and that’s a no-no, obviously.
That caused Larson’s pole-winning time to be disallowed, meaning he’ll start last for the second straight week. It’s starting to become a pattern.
At Kentucky, Larson couldn’t get through pre-qualifying inspection (for the third time this season) and never made it onto the track. Then his car had to make multiple attempts to get through pre-race inspection at Kentucky — something that resulted in a 30-minute penalty for Saturday’s final Cup Series practice at New Hampshire.
So yeah, it’s been a bit of a rough stretch for Larson’s team when it comes to dealing with NASCAR. Considering he said Friday he knows nothing about the race cars (he just drives), Larson must be wondering what’s going on.
As are we.
Has the team been doing things outside the rules all season and it’s just now catching up to them? Perhaps NASCAR is taking a closer look at a team whose performance has been the class of the field at times?
Larson was all smiles about his car on Friday after appearing to win his fourth pole position of the season. His car was handling well and had excellent speed, and he was optimistic for a good race after leading practice and every round of qualifying.
But now his weekend just got a lot more difficult, and he’s going to have to pass a lot of cars to see the front on Sunday. Again.