BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kyle Larson will not travel to Knoxville Raceway on Friday night to race his sprint car, a Chip Ganassi Racing spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports, ending Larson’s bid to win the Knoxville Nationals.
Larson finished third last year and second the year before. His father told the Des Moines Register last year that “the Knoxville Nationals is No. 1 on the bucket list” for his son.
The lineups for the Knoxville Nationals and its preliminary races on Saturday are set by points drivers earn during the week. Larson did not score enough points Wednesday to earn a spot in Saturday night’s A main. That meant he needed to return to Knoxville on Friday to race to have the possibility of earning a starting spot in the back of the A main field.
He said Friday that he will not compete Saturday at Knoxville also since he will be so far back in the preliminary races that he will have little chance to advancing to the A main to win the Knoxville Nationals.
Part of the complication for Larson is that Cup practice at Michigan International Speedway is from 8:35 – 9:25 a.m. ET on Saturday, which would come after a night of racing at Knoxville and after returning to Michigan in the early morning hours Saturday.