Kyle Larson frustrated by lack of long-run speed

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 25: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 25, 2017 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

LOUDON, N.H. –  Sometimes a practice hold can be a good thing.

A day after seeing his pole-winning time disallowed because of a non-conforming rear decklid fin, Kyle Larson started Saturday’s final practice at New Hampshire motor Speedway in the penalty box—thanks to a 30-minute hold for inspection failures the previous week at Kentucky Speedway.

Accordingly, Larson got only one long run in Happy Hour, and he was anything but happy with the result.

“On long run stuff, I’m really bad,” Larson said afterwards. “I’ve got to get better at that. It’s just really loose in (into the corners) and really tight in the middle. And as the VHT (traction compound) is wearing off, I’m just getting worse and worse. So, I’ve got to work on that.”

Larson felt the 30-minute hold might have been a blessing in disguise.

“It’s probably good for my attitude because I’d be double as frustrated if I had another run to do,” Larson said. “So I don’t know. We’ll work on it and we’ll get it better.”

Don’t feel too sorry for the driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi racing Chevrolet. He was second fastest in Saturday’s first practice and fourth on the speed chart in Happy Hour. In 10-lap average speed, he was quickest in the first session and ninth in final practice.

Larson will need both short-run and long-run speed in the Overton’s 301 on Sunday. He’ll start last (39th) because of the post-qualifying infraction.