DOVER, DE - JUNE 04: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, leads Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway on June 4, 2017 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Top driver believes NASCAR officials are monitoring him closely


Not many NASCAR drivers have had a better season than Kyle Larson.

The 24-year-old has won two races this season, and he narrowly trails Martin Truex Jr. as the points leader. But despite his constant success this season, Larson has endured more scrutiny from NASCAR officials during inspections.

Larson failed an inspection on Friday for the shark fin on his rear deck lid, and his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 car has been hit with several penalties this season.

"I think with just how fast we've been running and all that, NASCAR has kept a closer eye on our team in particular," Larson said via AutoWeek. "What was going on with the shark fin wasn't anything different, really, than the other teams tinker with, just trying to maximize their aero performance in their cars.  We just got in trouble for it, so we had to go to the back.

"Obviously, I don't think it really affected us, which is a good thing, because the little stuff that we got in trouble for so far hasn't seemed to affect the performance.  Just got to keep working hard on the areas of our race car that are legal and find some more speed that way."

Related: NASCAR has a new points leader after huge penalties are handed out


Larson finished second Sunday at New Hampshire, but he started from the back of the pack due to sanctions and penalties handed down by NASCAR officials before the race.

In the prior race at Kentucky, Larson was penalized for an unapproved rear brake cooling assembly.

Larson's crew chief, Chad Johnston, is currently serving a three-race suspension for an illegal part, which also cost Larson 35 points and the lead in the standings.

Larson said he feels like he has a target on his back due to his success this season, but he takes it as a compliment and it gives him motivation to continue winning on the track.


It does seem like NASCAR is keeping a close eye on Larson's car, but the penalties still haven't kept him from winning or nearly winning races.

(h/t AutoWeek)