NorCal Racing

Kyle Larson has stunning end to his NASCAR Cup Playoff run at Kansas

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Kyle Larson, long considered a lock to advance to the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff, stood in the garage with a dazed look on his face.

For the first time in 139 Cup events with Chip Ganassi Racing, Larson had blown an engine. Sixty laps into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas, Larson dropped a cylinder in the engine of his No. 42 Chevrolet.

On Lap 65, he brought the car to pit road, where his pit crew raised the hood and tried to diagnose the problem. Larson returned to the track three laps down, but the sour engine exploded on the frontstretch on Lap 77, knocking Larson out of the race in 39th place and out of the Playoff.

Before the final verdict was in, Larson watched the remainder of the race, hoping for a miracle, but Jimmie Johnson salvaged an 11th-place finish after two spins to knock Larson out of the Playoff by nine points.

“I guess I’m not stunned, because freak things happen in every…

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