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Larson still has a lot to learn about race cars

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JENNA FRYER | March 16, 2013 05:49 PM EST | AP


BRISTOL, Tenn. — There was a brief moment Saturday when NASCAR's rising star seemed to be channeling Cole Trickle.

Asked about the setups at Turner Scott Motorsports and if he and teammate Nelson Piquet can drive similar cars, 20-year-old Kyle Larson inadvertently riffed on a line from "Days of Thunder."

"I really just drive the car," he said. "I don't know too much about setups."

The comment drew a chuckle from 2003 Nationwide Series champion Brian Vickers, but there's little doubt that driving off of feel is so far working for Larson.

He finished second to Kyle Busch, the all-time winningest driver in the Nationwide Series, in Saturday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway showing patience in trying to time his attempt to snatch the win away at the finish line.

Larson has drawn rave reviews from Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart, who said he'd bet everything he has that Larson will be NASCAR's next star.

Still, Larson admitted later Saturday his lack of knowledge about race cars won't work for him for very long.

"I think I have pretty good feedback, but I don't have the confidence in myself to tell them what to change," he said. "This is only the beginning of my second season in stock cars. There's a lot more adjustments you can make in stock cars than you can on sprint cars, so I kind of have a decent understanding of sprint cars. I just have to get used to the stock cars. Those Cup guys, they are all really smart and they are all really close, and I think it comes down to feedback and getting your car right. So I am definitely going to have to work on that this year."