CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It is odd to classify a victory on a 1-mile concrete oval in Delaware as the biggest win of Kyle Larson’s career. Maybe he is among those who count their greatest triumphs on dirt, in sprint cars, venues far away from NASCAR’s glitz and glamour.
But at this time of year, in the middle of a long losing streak and just a year away from free agency, Larson’s victory Sunday at Dover International Speedway was enormous for both driver and team.
Larson was not considered a legitimate title contender when the playoffs began. He wasn’t even the strongest of the two Chip Ganassi Racing entrants, and had been overshadowed almost all season by new teammate Kurt Busch. Then Busch had a rocky opening round of the playoffs and was eliminated when the field was trimmed from 16 to 12 a week ago.