Roughly ten minutes into opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Pocono Raceway, Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet broke loose in the Tunnel Turn.
As the rear of the car stepped out to the right, Larson tried to correct it but couldn’t prevent his Camaro from slamming the outside wall. The contact sent the car hurtling down the track into the inside wall, completing the destruction of Larson’s primary vehicle.
Forced to go to a backup car, Larson will start from the rear in Sunday’s Gander RV 400 (3 pm ET on NBCSN, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). His early troubles mirror those from last weekend at New Hampshire, where Larson, wrecked his primary car in practice, started from the rear in a backup, crashed twice during Sunday’s race and finished 33rd.
“I’m just disappointed in myself,” said Larson, who enters Pocono race 13th in the standings but only 31 points inside the current Playoff cut line. That’s two weeks in a row now. I hate that I did that. I just got really loose, over-corrected some, spun to the inside and hit the wall. I just hate that I did that. We only have today for practice and I didn’t have much time in that practice session…
“I’ve just got to stop being stupid.”
Larson wasn’t the only driver kicking himself after an incident in practice. Later in the session, Chase Elliott also lost control in the Tunnel Turn, bounced off the outside wall and damaged his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet beyond repair.
Elliott will join Larson at the rear of the field in a backup car for the start of Sunday’s race, the 21st in the Cup series this year.
“I put myself in a pretty poor situation there for practice,” Elliott said. “I apologize to my guys here and the people back at the shop… You shouldn’t make decisions like that to put yourself in a bad spot.
“It’s completely my fault. We’ll try to get this other car going as soon as we can and try not to crash again.”