ANNOUNCER: So even Martin Truex Junior said he was shocked to learn of the 42 engine issues yesterday at Kansas. Larson entered the day third in the championship points, but on lap 65, poof, the points cushion evaporated, and his 39th place finish put him below the cut line.
So remember at the beginning of the show when I mentioned all of the emotions of the race. Well, the disgust and frustration, no doubt, belonged to those in the 42 camp. But Larson said it was bad luck, not a bad season, that ended his championship run.
– I knew as soon as I felt it– or heard it– I was probably done. So it stinks, you know. Part of me, I guess, will maybe be thankful that it wasn’t on my doing, but I don’t know. It sucks. But we’ve had a solid playoffs. We’ve been consistent, and just now we got bit.
– OK, so how does this happen? What happened here?
– Yeah, you know, I think Kyle Larson, as you heard him say there, he knew when he came to pit road at lap 65 that something was bad wrong with that engine. It was starting to lose power. He was going through the motions of giving the guys the information, the numbers off the diagnostic page, and of course 13 laps later it blows up.
I’m sure that Jeff Andrews Scotty Maxim, all the people over there at Hendrick Motorsports in the engine department, I bet you they had that engine– they couldn’t get it off that truck quick enough this morning to dive into it. To make sure that it wasn’t a parts failure that could affect some engines moving forward through these playoffs. Because remember, it’s a Hendrick engine. Chase Elliott and Jimmy Johnson, same type of engine package. But it’s very rare they have an engine failure. In fact, if you look at Kyle Larson, I know the timing was terrible. This is his fourth full-time season in the Cup Series. It’s the first time he’s ever had a DNF due to an engine failure.
– And it looked like– I mean, last year he had the bad luck. This year he has bad luck again in this round. Because it wasn’t just this race. I mean, this whole round was a tough one for him.
– Yeah, he really did, you know. He didn’t run as well at Charlotte as we thought he should have run. He ended up finishing 10th. There was a little bit of an issue on a late race restart. He actually, at Talladega, was in contention to maybe win that thing when they tried to go three wide through three and four. And he got caught up in that wreck and finished 13th. And of course, the engine failure. So even going into Kansas with that 29-point cushion, it just was not enough to cover consider now some of the other playoff drivers ran and how they finished.
– A lot of guys look to that 42 as the one who could win.
– There’s a lot of guys glad he’s gone.
– That is true.