In recent years, many races at Bristol Motor Speedway have been the Kyle and Kyle show. Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson have battled for the lead multiple times in the closing laps of races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Larson led 200 laps in Sunday’s Food City 500 and appeared to be the car to beat until his No. 42 slipped up the track and the No. 18 of polesitter, Busch, took over lead. Busch, who led 117 laps, worked his way through traffic and eventually scored his seventh career win at the high-banked short track.
Larson eluded to the rivalry he and Busch share at Bristol in his post-race interview. “I was really, really good on that long run. And yeah, as soon as we restarted there, I was extremely loose. The No. 17 (Ricky Stenhouse) got to my inside. I just really didn’t have any grip. I thought it would tighten-up for me and I could get going, but it never really did and I was just really loose. I hate that I didn’t win. It’s another one at Bristol. I feel like every time I race here I almost get a win. It was a fun race. I’ve been beat by Kyle (Busch) about every time I race here, too; so that gets frustrating after a while.”
Larson’s No. 42 Chevy car was extremely strong. Larson commented on his day in his post-race interview. “Yeah, I was just checked out there that long run. It was really, really good there, and was just hoping it would go green until the end, and then we pitted, and I was actually fine with that, too, because I knew we’d leave as the leader and restart on the outside. I just didn’t expect to get that loose that run there. The 17 almost got by me, was able to hold him off. I thought the grip was getting better, which it did a little bit, but not nearly good enough.”
Larson has proven his prowess at the track. He has now led 562 laps at Bristol scoring one top-five and five top-tens in just nine starts in the Cup series. Larson’s Xfinity stats are even more impressive leading 544 laps with six top-fives and seven top-tens in just eight starts.
Given his record at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, he will surely find his way to victory lane there soon.