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Larson incurs first NASCAR Cup Series DNF at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — In his 10th NASCAR Cup Series start at the track, Kyle Larson failed to finish a race at Darlington Raceway.

Larson pitted from the top 10 on Lap 109 with engine issues. He reported having an exhaust leak in the previous 10 laps and then believed he dropped a cylinder a lap before pitting. His car was taken behind the wall and diagnostics, combined with a check of the valve covers, revealed his issues were terminal.

Before the issues, Larson had recovered to the top 10 after spinning during a battle for second with Kyle Busch on Lap 55.

“Our No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet was super good today, so that’s promising. I feel like maybe we hit on something here this weekend,” Kyle Larson told Team Chevrolet. “I hate that we’re not going to get the finish that we deserve, but I’m proud of my team for the car they brought today.”

Larson will finish 36th – last – in Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington. According to LASTCAR, this is his ninth career last-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The lowest Larson will fall to is 10th in points, meaning he will still remain in position for at least one playoff point after Darlington.

Larson entered Darlington with a string of four top-10 finishes in five races in 2022 after three straight finishes of 29th or worse.

Larson’s previous worst finish at Darlington is 14th overall in the 2017 Southern 500 after leading 124 laps. In that race, Larson finished fourth in stage two and was edged out by Martin Truex Jr. for the stage one win.

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