Larson busy this weekend

Kyle Larson talks with crew members after qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 in Brooklyn, Mich., Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By NOAH TRISTER

AP Sports Writer

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kyle Larson is ready for a hectic weekend befitting his status as a top racing star.

Larson is set to race in today’s Knoxville Nationals, squeezing in the prestigious sprint car event before returning to Michigan to compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race. Chip Ganassi, Larson’s team owner on the Cup circuit, gave him permission to race today in Knoxville, Iowa. He qualified ninth in his Cup car Friday at Michigan.

“Chip’s allowing me to go to Knoxville (today), which is great,” Larson said. “Cool weekend for me and really excited for it.”

The 25-year-old Larson has two Cup victories this year — including in June at Michigan — and is third in the standings. He also won at Michigan last August.

Larson performed well enough in qualifying Wednesday to make the field for today’s top race in Iowa. He spoke to Ganassi about it Thursday, after Chevrolet’s event in Detroit introducing its 2018 Cup car.

Ganassi is hoping Larson’s presence at Knoxville could draw more viewers to Sunday’s Cup Series race.

“We know the guy’s an amazing talent. We know he can win at Knoxville,” Ganassi said. “We’ve got to have him win here Sunday in Michigan, too, in the NASCAR race. Kyle’s an amazing talent. Let’s have him win in Knoxville. Let’s bring him back to win here in Michigan, and then I want all you fans in Knoxville to be turning your TVs on NASCAR on Sunday.”

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