Kyle Larson: No Conservative Approach from Chasers

Kyle Larson: No Conservative Approach from Chasers

by September 16, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images

JOLIET, Ill. — Kyle Larson entered the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway last week with a bit less weight on his shoulders relative to the field after missing out on a Chase berth at Richmond two weeks ago.

Compared to the 16 drivers racing for a championship in this year’s Chase, Larson has a somewhat easier and less stressful path through the end of the season.

While the 16 Chase drivers have to worry about surviving three different eliminations on their way to a potential championship, Larson only has to worry about finishing strong across the remaining nine races in the season.

With the Chasers needing to either win or run consistent enough to advance to the next round, the balance of risk versus reward is vital to a Chaser’s chance to advance through each Chase round to the final race of the season at Homestead.

Following extraordinary on-track battles between him and Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski during the race – third-place finisher Larson notes that, from what he experienced, the Chasers are not holding back at all.

“Those guys might be a little bit more cautious [and] won’t race you as hard,” Larson noted. “I didn’t feel that way at all. I felt everybody was racing as hard as they do all season long. … I didn’t feel anybody was holding back at all.”

Larson also noted that even though the drivers in the Chase may not have been holding back, non-Chasers have to show some caution around the championship contenders so as to not ruin their championship hopes.

“We definitely have to be a little bit more careful around those guys too,” he continued. “Because we don’t want to hurt their chances of advancing.”

The driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet made sure to race the rest of the field especially clean, a favor that the championship contenders would return for him.

On his battle with Harvick in the closing stages of the race, Larson had the following to offer…

“As long as we didn’t touch, I think it was all going to be okay,” he stated. “I left him plenty of room when we’d get down to the corners. I would side-draft him down the straightaways, but wasn’t hitting him or anything.

I think the way I was racing was okay. I don’t know if he thought the same thing. But, I had a lot of fun. When he was around my outside, I felt like he was doing the same thing. I thought we were racing hard but clean.”

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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