With the changes NASCAR has made to the Monster Energy Cup Series schedule, the second race at Las Vegas will be quite a bit more significant as it will kick off the playoffs.
Kyle Larson is one of a select group of drivers that participated in day one on Wednesday of a two day NASCAR organizational test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. it was also his first chance to get his new Chevy ZL1 Camaro on the track and get some laps, according to motorsport.com.
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Larson understands the importance of getting in some extra time at the track, even if it's only practice.
"I get a lot out of it, especially being the first test of the year; getting familiar with the car and just getting laps," Larson said. "And then you know, out here, obviously you don't have a lot of cars, the groove doesn't move up as much as it will for the race weekend, but the weather is always pretty consistent out here."
Although the tire test is only practice, Larson didn't downplay the significance of being able to score some extra time on the track at Las Vegas.
"I guess maybe with an added race and it being in the playoffs this test becomes a little more important," Larson said. "Every test is important because you want to come back and have good speed, but you know when you are coming back here for a playoff race it's just that much more important."
In Larson's four previous starts at the speedway in Vegas he's finished all over the board. With a 19th place finish in 2014, an eighth place finish in 2015, a 34th place finish in 2016, and his best finish to date last season as he finished the runner-up to Martin Truex Jr.
"It was nice to get some laps here and feel like we've got some pretty good speed and good balance with our new Camaro ZL1," Larson said. "Pretty good test so far."
Hopefully this extra time on the track in Las Vegas and extra laps in the new Camaro will get Larson ready for the upcoming season. After-all Daytona is only a few weeks away.