Kyle Larson faced with must-win scenario at Kansas after penalty

Kyle Larson and the No. 42 team likely needed to win at Kansas Speedway this weekend in order to advance to the round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Now after suffering an L1 penalty the team, the playoff chances for Larson rest on getting to victory lane.

NASCAR imposed a 10-point penalty on Larson on Wednesday after his crew used unapproved metal tabs during Sunday’s MENCS race at Talladega Superspeedway.

The penalty drops Larson from 26 points out of the playoff cutoff line of eighth place to 36 points out. Chip Ganassi Racing has not yet announced whether or not they will appeal the penalty.

In addition to the 10 point penalty, crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $25,000 while car chief David Bryant was suspended for one race.

The penalty itself is not as severe as it could have been if NASCAR had of noticed their use during the race. If noticed during the race, NASCAR could have parked Larson resulting in a 40th place finish at that time rather than the 11th place finish he was able to salvage.

If caught early enough, it is possible NASCAR could have informed the team that they could not use the metal tabs.

A driver who does not win the race can acquire a maximum of 55 points, as result of a second place finish and two stage wins.