Engine Issue Hurts Larson’s Stride to Victory in the Truck Race at Pocono

LONG POND. Pa. (August 2, 2014) – In his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start with Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) this season, Kyle Larson was impeccably fast around the Tricky Triangle and led 21 of 60 laps before an engine issue at the halfway mark took the No. 32 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet out of contention, resulting in an 18th-place finish at Pocono Raceway. Prior to the start of the Pocono Mountains 150, Larson topped the speed charts and swept the weekend’s qualifying sessions, claiming his first-career NCWTS pole award the day after earning his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole award. As the green flag waved, Larson launched out in front of the field, leaving a gap of nearly 15 truck lengths behind him as he led 17 laps around the tri-oval. The first caution flag waved on lap 18 and crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. called for two right-side tires, fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment to tighten up the Cartwheel Chevy Silverado. After rejoining the field in the fifth position, it wasn’t long before Larson was back out front, battling for the lead with fellow Cup Series rookie Austin Dillon. As green-flag pit stops began to cycle, Dillon made his way to pit road and Larson moved into the first position, leading an additional four laps before Hillman called him in. After taking two right-side tires and fuel on lap 35, Larson returned to the track in 14th position and made two laps around the track before telling his TSM team that there appeared to be an engine problem as the No. 32 truck slowed significantly. Despite the issue, Larson’s temperatures remained stable and Hillman encouraged him to ride it out until they had a chance to diagnose the issue. With 12 laps to go, the second caution flag waved and Larson brought his Cartwheel Chevy to pit road for further examination. After a thorough review by the TSM crew, Larson rejoined the field, knowing that what was once a winning truck, was now stuck at the back of field. Regardless, Larson maintained control of his truck, making it through two green/white/checkered finish attempts before driving the No. 32 Cartwheel Chevy to an 18th-place finish.

Kyle Larson on Racing at Pocono Raceway: “Well, that didn’t go as we had planned. We had such a good truck this weekend; we were crazy fast. I really don’t know what happened in the middle of the race, but I heard something under the hood and I knew it wasn’t good. I still tried to drive that thing as hard as I could, but unfortunately, 18th was as good as I could get. My Turner Scott Motorsports team brought a winning truck and I hate that luck wasn’t on our side today. I can’t thank Harry Scott and Steve Turner enough for giving me the opportunity to race this truck the past two weekends. I also appreciate all the support from Cartwheel and Target. I hope to be back in a Turner Scott truck soon and hopefully I’ll get us all a win.”

First Practice:
Position: 1
Fastest Lap: 53.999 sec.
Laps: 10

Final Practice:
Position: 2
Fastest Lap: 54.252 sec.
Laps: 14

Qualifying:
Position: 1
Fastest Lap: 53.282 sec.

Race:
Position: 18
Laps Completed/Total: 64/64
Laps Led: 21