Kyle Larson's championship hopes took a huge hit early in the race


Kyle Larson was in great shape entering the race in Kansas. Sitting comfortably in third place in the playoff standings, he only needed 34 points to clinch a spot in the next round.

Barring a disaster on the track involving all of the playoff drivers behind him, Larson's championship hopes are over.

In the first stage, before he had a chance to get any points, his car indicated low oil pressure and went into limp mode. The engineers tried to diagnose the problem and sent him out to try to at least make it to the end of stage one, but the engine wouldn't cooperate.

Until now, Larson had never had a DNF due to engine issues in his career. Likely losing a chance to compete for the championship due to engine failure is one of the most frustrating endings to a season possible. Larson will cross his fingers, but he knows his season is effectively over.