This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Larson won both the Monster Energy Open and the All-Star Races Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 42 didn't have a guaranteed spot in the main event and had to race his way into the big show. Once there he didn't disappoint, starting the final stage in 13th position and working his way forward in the pack to grab the lead from Kyle Busch and then go on to hold off the charging Kevin Harvick to claim the win. This trip to Victory Lane means he won't have to worry about not having a guaranteed spot in future All-Star Races, and it came with a million-dollar check to top it off.
This week, the field returns their focus to championship progress. The longest race of the season is on tap for Sunday night in NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend classic, the Coca-Cola 600.
Kyle Larson – As expected, Larson advanced to the All-Star Race by winning the final stage in the Monster Energy Open. Contact with Daniel Hemric in the final laps of the first stage left him with excess ground to cover after repairs were made on his car. He worked hard and didn't give up, though. That effort got him the win and a start in the big show, which he then used as a springboard to hold off Kevin Harvick to win. It was a huge accomplishment from him considering the bad luck the team has experienced much of the season so far. The monkey