Championship contender dejected after his chances for a title go up in smoke

That's it for Kyle Larson, and he's dejected.

Larson saw his championship aspirations go up in smoke at Kansas when engine failure knocked his No. 42 Chevrolet out of the race.

"It's painful," Larson said on "It sucks."

Painful indeed. Larson entered the race third in the championship standings and poised to advance. But the engine issue knocked him to finish of 39th. At the end of the day, he finished one spot below the cutoff line to advance to the round of eight.

"Disappointing way to finish our race and our season," Larson said. "But we'll be all right. Things happen. The 78 had the engine issue last year after being the best car all year and then us this year. Disappointing.

"I'm not stunned because freak things happen in every sport ...," Larson continued. "Not always does the best team win."