Kyle Larson to get another Cup start at Texas

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21-year-old rising star Kyle Larson hopes his third Sprint Cup start will be the charm, as he’ll suit up once again for Phoenix Racing in this Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Larson, who will drive the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in Sprint Cup next season, had been initially slated to drive just the Charlotte and Martinsville Cup races this month. He was unable to finish both of those races due to engine problems.

“Getting to compete in Sprint Cup has been a great learning experience,” he said in a team release. “I’m looking forward to driving the Cup car at Texas and hopefully avoid any issues, complete all the laps and get the finish we deserve.”

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau will be supporting Larson and Phoenix Racing in Sunday’s race. Larson will also continue his Nationwide Series duties in the No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet for Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.

In the Oct. 12 Cup race at Charlotte, Larson had been running within the Top 15 until he fell back after his engine dropped a cylinder around 100 laps to go. Eventually, the engine failed on Lap 247 and he was relegated to a 37th-place finish.

This past Sunday at Martinsville – a track he had tested beforehand – he lost another motor in the first half of the race, triggering one of the 17 caution periods in the race. He finished 42nd.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.