Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson gain his first victory of the 2022 season on Sunday in the Wise Power 400, but the main talking point was the crash with teammate Chase Elliott.
According to Larson he didn’t know his teammate was making it three-wide for the lead towards the end of Sunday’s Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway, and claims he did not intentionally squeeze Chase Elliott into the wall.
“What the F*** is he doing, man? It wasn’t even close,” Elliott yelled in anger over his in-car communications. ” … It’s probably going to break again before the end of the race. But I don’t really give a F*** who is leading the race.”
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Kyle Larson explains crash with HMS teammate Chase Elliott
Larson explained to the media after the race that Joey Logano was holding onto the bottom part of the track and the two were side-drafting, and that he did not check in his mirror as he was trying to cut wide because he was too worried about Logano.
“So, I didn’t get through (Turns) 3 and 4 very well. Joey (Logano) did a good job on the bottom, and then we were side drafting each other, and I’m not even looking in my mirror at that point because all I’m worried about is Joey and I’m looking out of my A-post window. I had a run, so I went to peel off, and as soon as I peeled off, my spotter is yelling, ‘Outside! Outside! Outside!’ And I had no clue he was even coming,” said Larson, who returned to Victory Lane in quick order after last season’s 10 wins. “I hate that I ended his day after they worked so hard to get back to the lead lap and back in contention to win, but it was just an honest mistake on probably both of our faults. I should have had more awareness in my mirror. My spotter could have told me he was coming with a big run, and we would have avoided that mess. I would have probably not been side drafting on Joey as hard as I was. I would have been more so protecting on Chase than worrying about Joey.
“It happened, and I hate that it did. I know they’re upset. But we’ll talk, and hopefully we’ll get on the same page. I would never run into my teammate or block him that aggressively and that late on purpose.”
Kyle Larson’s spotter, Tyler Monn, was quick to take responsibility for the misunderstanding.
The 29-y-o said after the race that he hadn’t spoken with his teammate about the incident, however Larson was going to explain his side of what happened. Kyle said he knows that Chase Elliott will still be upset.