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USA Today via Reuters

With 20 turns, the 3.4-mile bumpy track of COTA can deliver severe challenges to even prominent NASCAR drivers. Though winning the pole position in the Focused Health 250, Xfinity Race, Kyle Larson driving the legendary No. 17, struggled in the initial laps of the race. He couldn’t find his place in the top 5 until stage 2. However, his insane maneuvering skills at the turn 16 of the last lap took him to the victory Lane.

Larson, in a post-race interview, discussed how special it was to clinch another victory for the Hendrick Motorsports Team. Answering Bob Pockrass, NASCAR Fox Sports Reporter, Larson revealed the gamble he took to seize the triumph. In his statements, he also suggested how NASCAR can get rid of the dirt problems at the turn eight of COTA.

Kyle Larson’s Proposal for Improving Turn Eight at COTA

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During a discussion with Pockrass, Kyle Larson delved into the intricacies of navigating turn eight at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Throwing a curveball at Larson, Bob asked, why there was less dirt at turn eight in the Xfinity race compared to cup practice and qualifying. Diving in, Larson admitted though being unaware of the reasons. “I don’t know, um it was still super dirty there for sure um it had more grip for whatever reason today than it did yesterday in Xfinity practice,” said Larson.

Acknowledging the ongoing issue of dirt accumulation, which posed a threat to driver balance and performance, Larson stated, “I think like where we run our right sides off, has gotten so deep, that you know, now it’s kind of, it can mess your balance up through there. So I think now people might shade more to just being on trying to be on the paint but underneath the rumble strip.”

Expressing his frustration, Larson proposed a solution to mitigate the problem, suggesting the installation of a barrier at the apex of turn eight to deter drivers from cutting the track. He remarked, “I just wish they would put something there, a turtle, a cone-like not a cone but like something that’s going to, you know, can’t hit it or you can’t go over it, without you losing time.”

Adding to his answer, he went on stating, “It looks dumb, that we’re cutting the track and all that so um yeah I wish we could just put something you know right at the apex just you know below the rumble strips and it would fix everything over there.” The HMS driver advocated against just refilling the dirt at the apex, asserting, “Don’t refill it…if they’re not going to do anything, don’t refill it.”

Kyle Larson’s constructive critique aimed to address the safety concerns and enhance the racing experience at COTA.

Understanding Larson’s Gamble: How He Secured Victory at Focused Health 250 Race?

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In the Focused Health 250 race, Larson found himself in a strategic dilemma: choosing which lane to take on restarts. Reflecting on his decision-making process, Larson explained, “So that was nice, you know people wanted to be in the left lane.” 

Although the left lane was the preferred choice, Larson opted for the right lane, a calculated risk he deemed necessary, even though he was restarting 10th. As he expressed, “So that was a gamble you know to take, to take the right lane.”

“So I liked it. I liked it where it was at I felt like it spread out, just a little bit. But you also still had the dive bombs and all that too so I’m not sure how it looked from TV but I thought it was in a good spot there,” appreciated Larson as his gamble paid off. 

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Kyle Larson’s insightful review and proposal for improving turn eight at COTA reflected his dedication to enhancing safety in the racing experience. Also, his strategic gamble during the Focused Health 250 race exemplified his calculated approach to secure a victory.

Read More: Xfinity Star Calls Out COTA Rival’s “Etiquette” as He Defends Heated Post-Race Interaction With Bold Claim