By Jared Turner
Widely considered an overwhelming favorite to make it all the way to the Championship 4, Kyle Larson was disheartened and understandably deflated at Kansas where he finished as the first driver on the wrong side of the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8. In position to easily make it into the next round, Larson missed out on the opportunity with a Lap 77 engine failure that resulted in a DNF and left him scored with a 39th-place finish. He ended the day ninth in the standings, nine points behind Jimmie Johnson — last among the eight drivers who advanced. Later, Larson, who has enjoyed a career season, offered some perspective. “I’m not stunned, because it is a long 10-race playoff season, so anything can happen, but we have had a solid playoffs,” Larson said. “We have been consistent, and just now got bit.”
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