Drama for the favorite to win the first NASCAR Cup Series dirt race in 50-years, as Kyle Larson will have to start at the rear of his heat race on Saturday after his team had to change the engine in his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro following elevated temperatures sustained during final practice on Friday.
Unfortunately, the engine in the No. 5 car has to be changed due to elevated temps and subsequent damage to engine.
— No. 5 Team (@Hendrick5Team) March 26, 2021
Larson was slated to roll off the grid in second spot in Heat Race No. 1 behind pole sitter Quin Houff.
While Larson will have to avoid calamity on his way to the front of the 15-lap heat race, there isn’t really much reason to put his car in jeopardy for Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race as he will be scored from his original starting spot of second in his Heat race despite starting in the rear, which means he will not have a chance for additional passing points.
Per NASCAR rules, Larson will have to drop to the rear of the field before the start of Sunday’s main event as well.
He’ll be fast, he’ll just have to avoid the expected chaos on his path through the field on Saturday and Sunday.
Notice of correction: This story originally stated that Larson would be eligible for more passing points in his Heat race as he would be starting in the rear. This is incorrect. By NASCAR rules, he will be scored from his official starting spot of second in his Heat race on Saturday.