Kyle Larson receives permission from Chip Ganassi to race Knoxville Nationals

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 12, 2017

Kyle Larson will race in the 57th annual Knoxville Nationals Saturday night after team owner Chip Ganassi gave his approval for Larson to compete in one of the biggest sprint auto races of the year.

Larson qualified for the Knoxville Nationals main feature by winning his qualifying heat Wednesday night at the half-mile Iowa dirt track.

Ganassi said in a video posted online that he wants Kyle to win the Nationals, but asked Sprint Car fans to either watch the race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway on TV or come to Michigan and watch. "OK, OK, OK, we're going to let him race at Knoxville".

That persuasion happened Thursday, when Larson accompanied Ganassi on the ride to the Detroit airport after Thursday's unveil of the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for NASCAR competition.

"I know my fans really appreciate it, all my sprint auto fans and NASCAR fans", Larson said Friday after opening practice at the 2-mile MI track.

Ganassi's challenge to all dirt racing fans was to watch Larson on Saturday night in Knoxville, then tune in Sunday for the Pure Michigan 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), where he is the defending race victor.

To compete in both events, Larson needed Ganassi's permission, which the vehicle owner granted Friday afternoon.

Larson, a two-time victor in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year, is a frequent competitor in the sprint-car world with a set annual allotment of extracurricular races pre-arranged with Ganassi. "I can't thank Chip enough for that". "It's especially nice though that he is making an exception for Saturday night". Larson is scheduled to start 9th in Saturday's race.

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