Kyle Larson After Kansas: Thanks To My Team For Building Me A War Machineby Hunter Thomas May 15, 2022 0 comments
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – With as many times as Kyle Larson hit the wall on Sunday in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway, you’d think that he was racing at Darlington Raceway, but despite the drama, the Hendrick Motorsports driver brought the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet home in the second position.
Larson is known for racing on the extreme high side at tracks where that’s the fastest line. Running the cushion at dirt tracks has helped him perfect the skillset, but on Sunday, he bounced off the wall on numerous occasions while battling eventual race winner, Kurt Busch for the lead.
On Lap 182, Larson nearly spun out in front of Busch. In fact, Larson’s car got so sideways in Turn 2, that he probably wouldn’t have held onto his car if it hadn’t clipped the wall. While Larson’s slide job briefly earned him the lead, Busch quickly went around him on the backstretch.
“I was trying hard the whole time,” Larson said. “I about spun out in front of him (Kurt Busch) there at some point I think in the third stage, and then we just kept fighting through it. Thanks to my team for building me a war machine. I hit the wall a lot today and just struggled.”
Fast forward to 64 laps to go, and Larson absolutely pounded the outside wall in Turn 4 while battling Busch again for the lead. We’ve seen over the past 13 points races this year that the Next Gen car can take a beating and still continue on, and Sunday’s race was no different.
Larson settled in during the closing laps, hitting his marks. He led 24 consecutive laps between Laps 235 and 258 in the final stage, but once again, it was Busch battling him for the race lead and the win. With nine laps to go, Busch dove underneath Larson in-between Turns 1 and 2 to challenge for the lead. Busch slid up the track, and the air disturbed Larson’s car, and he hit the wall again, handing over the lead.
Busch went on to earn his first win of the season, while Larson held on to capture his sixth top-five this year. Following the race, Larson has no hard feelings with Busch, and he confirmed that the two drivers never touched doors.
“No, I mean, we were racing for the win there,” Larson said about battling Busch for the win. “Yeah, he never got into me, so I’m trying to squeeze throttle to get position on him and just got tight, so that was fun racing with Kurt the last half of the race.”
Larson has competed for wins all season long, with the exception of two crashes and two mechanical failures. Prior to this weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway, Larson was looking like he was going to potentially compete for the win in the Goodyear 400 at Darlington, but he suffered a mechanical failure.
Now, the NASCAR Cup Series looks ahead to the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 22. Live coverage of the $1 million to-win, non-points race will broadcast on FS1 and MRN at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Image