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Kyle Larson will not go to Knoxville Raceway to race Friday

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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.


Kyle Larson finishes 14th in his prelim feature at Knoxville

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Kyle Larson finished 14th in Thursday night’s preliminary feature at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and will have to transfer from the B feature Saturday night to race in the 56th annual Knoxville Nationals feature race.

Thursday night’s prelim feature was won by Tim Kaeding.

Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, posted the fastest time in qualifying, won the prelim B feature and finished eighth in the main feature. Former NASCAR driver Dave Blaney finished 13th in the B feature and did not advance to the 24-car main feature.

Full results from Thursday’s racing here. 

The main feature began with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pacing the field in Bryan Clauson’s sprint car, honoring his close friend who died Sunday from injuries suffered in a midget car crash at last weekend’s Belleville Nationals.