Kyle Larson steady at New Hampshire in runner-up effort

0 Comments

On Friday, Kyle Larson said he wouldn’t be disappointed if he did not have his inaugural Sprint Cup win before this season ended.

But if he continues to run the way he’s been running and still isn’t able to seal the deal in the final eight races of 2014, one wonders if he’ll get at least a little frustrated.

The rookie star once again dueled up front with the Chasers today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and eventually dusted Kevin Harvick in the green-white-checkered restart to pick up a second-place finish.

That equals his second back in the spring at Auto Club Speedway as his best Cup result so far.

“Didn’t think we’d be a second-place finisher,” Larson said afterwards. “We weren’t a second-place car by any means – Top-5 car, I thought. [It was] crazy how many cautions there were at the end. [I] finally figured it out the last time, was able to get to second, hold off Kevin for two laps to get second.

“[I’m] happy about the finish. Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll get one spot better. Like I said last week, all these [races] coming close, finishing second or third, is going to make that win feel really special.”

Larson was unable to reel in today’s winner, Joey Logano, as the Penske pilot was simply too strong during the late restarts on fresher tires.

But considering today’s finish and his third-place run last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, it’s clear that Larson and the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team want some of the spotlight that’s being shined on those in the running for the championship.

When asked if his finishes in the first two Chase races had him thinking “what if,” Larson admitted that it was “a little bit disappointing” to not be involved in the post-season but was still glad that he and teammate Jamie McMurray (who finished fourth today) have been running well in this final stretch.

“I know other teams that are in the Chase notice that and I’m sure they’re worried about us for next season already,” Larson asserted.

Larson began to make a serious move toward the lead pack in the disjointed second half of the race after early trouble with handling on his car.

“The first couple runs, I was really loose on exit of the corner, tight in the center, loose on my entry,” he said. “After that, all three parts of the corner were fixed.

“Once we got the car driving good, we just had to miss those wrecks. We gambled on fuel a little bit, but all the cautions worked out, so it wasn’t really a gamble very much.”

Larson said he didn’t exactly know what adjustments were made to his car, but it’s clear that they worked. With 75 to go, he was running in the Top 5 and remained in that bracket for the rest of the race.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.