Allmendinger Spins Larson on Last Lap in Battle for Fourth

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A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the No. 47 Kroger/Kingsford Chevrolet, hasn’t had the best of season thus far, which has resulted in some frustration, as seen this past weekend.

Prior to this past weekend’s race at Watkin’s Glen International Raceway, he had only posted one other top-five, a second place at Martinsville Speedway, this season. However he still entered Watkins Glen confident as it is a special track to the American driver, given he recorded his first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Race win there in 2014.    

The Los Gatos, California native was having a pretty decent day early in the race, running in the top-five, until he sped on pit road in which he received a drive through penalty. However, he was able to battle back to get a top-five with a little bit of controversy after the race.

“Our last corner there, racing with Kyle (Larson) I just… I can’t sorry enough,” Allmendinger quoted.  “It doesn’t help the case, I spun him out. I didn’t mean to spin him out. The No. 78 was spinning and I was starting to get my nose under Kyle to try to drag race him to the checkered. He was turning to come back down, but it was my fault. For fourth place it would be different if we were battling for the win, but I just hate it for him. It’s not going to help to say sorry, I know, I would be pissed off. He should be. I was going to be okay with that until that.”

The 2003 Champ Car Atlantic champion, takes full credit for the contract made with Larson. The 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona winner says Martin Truex Jr. was starting to spin and himself and Larson were racing for fifth when they made contact and Larson wrecked.

“I’m just not very happy with myself on that,” Allmendinger added.   “I don’t want to do that, especially for fourth place. And he did a great job. It’s on me. I never meant to do it. It’s not going to help the case. I know he’s going to be pissed off and he should be pissed off. I’d be. I can’t thank everybody at Kroger and Kingsford and all of our partners. I definitely cost us a chance to win this race. I tried to give everything I had to get it back. I was going to be pretty happy with the drive back until I did that in the last corner.

“I would have been okay except for the last corner. I cost us down pit road. I sped. And I fought hard to get back and restarts, I was aggressive, but I was going to be okay with that. I don’t want to race like that. If we’re going for the win, it’s all good. But not like that. I just cost Kyle a good finish. I’m just pissed off at myself.”

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, has also had a pretty up and down season so far with no wins, seven top-10s and four top-fives.  The American driver had a pretty decent car and was hoping to finish strong to give him some points towards qualifying for the Chase for the Championship. However, with the wreck at the end, he finished the race in 29th.  

“We were about a 10th place car and we were going to get a top five day out of it,” Larson stated.  “We were running sixth coming to (Turn) 7; the No. 47 was behind me. He is always aggressive. I figured he would be smart. Obviously, the No. 78 was spinning in front of us. That is a free spot for both of us and just dumped me. He had already ran me down to the front stretch wall once with about 15 to go or so. Pretty dumb move right there too, but I was the smarter one racing for points, lifted, could have wrecked him, but didn’t. I don’t know. I don’t know. He wrecked me earlier in the year at Vegas. He has ran me hard, but we always race pretty well, but today was flat out stupid. I love his crew chief (Randall Burnett) to death; he was our engineer last year. It just sucks they are going to have to start building some more race cars because he has got a few coming.”