The 10-point penalty levied against Kyle Larson is a blessing in disguise.
Larson was going to enter Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway 26 points out of the final playoff transfer spot. After a L1 penalty, Larson now enters 36 points out. A driver can acquire a maximum of 55 points if they finish second in the race and win the first two stages.
Prior to the penalty Larson would have entered the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway in the delicate position of needing a win but still trying to play the points game should problems happen to a bunch of other drivers.
Wednesday’s penalty removes that concern for Larson and gives the No. 42 team free reign to try and do anything to the car. Larson does not have to race for stage points, he now can focus solely on the checkered flag.
Larson led 101 laps when the MENCS visited Kansas in May which resulted in a fourth place fun. While Larson has never gone to victory lane that fourth place finish added with a sixth place run in 2017 and a second in 2014 give Larson something to look forward too even if he has five other finishes of 15th or worse.
The No. 42 crew knew before this penalty that a 15th place finish was not going to help their 2018 Playoff hopes, now they can throw all the kitchen sink at Kansas.
Counting Kyle Larson out at Kansas would be a huge mistake by anyone else on the bubble.