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Chip Ganassi gives Kyle Larson permission to race at the final night at Knoxville

Chip Ganassi gives Kyle Larson permission to race at the final night at Knoxville

Kyle Larson will compete in the $150,000-to-win main event of the Knoxville Nationals.

By Geoff Rounds

Larson will travel from Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend’s NASCAR doubleheader, to Knoxville Speedway, Iowa for the final night of sprintcar racing’s most prestigious event.

Larson won the Wednesday night feature and needed to coax his NASCAR team boss Chip Ganassi into allowing him to return to Knoxville for Saturday night’s 50-lap main event, where he is scheduled to start fifth.

Larson got his way the next day with social media playing a big part in Ganassi’s decision when he was flooded with encouragement from fans.

“I know my fans really appreciate it, all my sprintcar fans and NASCAR fans. So Chip is a hero today and this weekend. I appreciate it,” Larson said.

“I’m thankful for Chip to even allow me to do what I get to do right now. It’s especially nice though that he is making an exception for Saturday night.”

Larson, a two-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series this year, is a frequent competitor in sprintcar racing pre-arranged with Ganassi.

Larson has competed in 24 events in his 25-race maximum, and that his agreement with Ganassi typically precludes him from racing sprintcars one day before he’s scheduled for on-track activity in NASCAR.

Fellow NASCAR competitor 22-year-old Christopher Bell who drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports is on standby for Joe Gibbs Racing veteran Denny Hamlin, who is expecting his second child.

Bell is 22nd on points overall at the Nationals, effectively in the chase for a feature start.

He has had an exceptional season, leading the NASCAR Truck Series with four wins and eight top-five finishes through 12 races and are also racing at Michigan this weekend, making Bell available.

For more of the latest in speedway news, pick up the current issue Auto Action Magazine, in stores now. In the meantime make sure you follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates through out the rest of the Knoxville Nationals.