Column: Kyle Larson Thinks NASCAR Cup Cars On Dirt May Be Tough For Jonathan Davenport
Column By: REID SPENCER / NASCAR – BRISTOL, TN – For the second time in four days, Kyle Larson will face off against dirt late model superstar Jonathan Davenport when the NASCAR Cup Series cars take to the track for Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Larson took the measure of the driver nicknamed “Superman” in Thursday night’s FloRacing Late Model Challenge, an event the 2021 Cup champion promoted at Volunteer Speedway in Bull’s Gap, Tenn.
“I was having fun the whole time,” Larson said. “I would imagine he was having fun, too. I was throwing haymakers at him though, so it probably did get stressful at times for him. I feel like I had a little bit better car than him and was doing a better job of running the top, so he probably felt a little pressure the whole time.”
Given the radical differences between the Cup cars and a dirt late model, Larson will be surprised if Davenport mounts a challenge in Sunday’s event at Bristol. “Superman,” who also will start 25th in Saturday’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race, will be driving the No. 13 Chevrolet fielded by Kaulig Racing in the Food City Dirt Race.
“I don’t remember the Kaulig cars being very good in the Cup race last year, and they haven’t been that strong yet anywhere this year,” Larson said. “And the Cup Series is just a lot tougher.
Larson also stressed the differences between the cars that raced Thursday and NASCAR’s Next Gen Cup car.
“They couldn’t be further apart from each other,” he said. “Everybody just assumes, ‘Oh, it’s a dirt track—dirt cars drive the same; you put a Cup car on dirt, and a dirt guy’s going to be good.’ But these cars are not dirt cars. They’re not built for it.
“Unless he’s driven a street stock, which I don’t know if he has, it’s probably not going to drive anything like what he’s used to.”
Davenport nevertheless performed capably in the fourth qualifying head race on Saturday, starting second and finishing fourth.