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July 1, 2018

Kyle Larson

Joliet, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by the driver of the No.42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, today's runner‑up, Kyle Larson.
We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Could you tell when you did the slide job if you were going to probably make it in front of him or was it just that tight?
KYLE LARSON: No, I mean, I wasn't really trying to make it in front of him. I figured if I ran in there to try and clear him, I would have had to slow down so much to not hit the wall that he would have just turned underneath me and it wouldn't even have been a battle to the win.
Yeah, I mean, I didn't initially go in there planning to run into the side of him. When I ran in there and figured I wasn't going to have enough momentum to clear him and get going, I kind of made the plan to try and squeeze into him, to bog him down. It worked. Just he was able to get back to my back bumper into three.

Q. I assume from your comments on TV you're okay with what he did?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, I hit him first, so... I roughed him up, he roughed me up. That's racing.

Q. You might be the first driver that ever gave Kyle a thumbs up after an incident like that. Did you make eye contact with him when it happened, when you did that after the race?
KYLE LARSON: I just went down and talked to him and said, That was a lot of fun.
I have a lot of respect for Kyle Busch. He has a lot of respect for me. Yeah, I mean, like I said, that was hard racing. I had a lot of fun. I didn't think I was even going to get the opportunity to race him side‑by‑side for the win like that. I was getting really tight behind him.
Just from running really hard up top to try to catch those guys. I was able to, yeah, race him like that. Yeah, I mean, like I said, he roughed me up, then I roughed him up. I can't be mad at him.

Q. You talked about that you didn't know if you were going to be able to race him for the win. When did you start to realize you maybe had a shot?
KYLE LARSON: Well, actually I would say a little bit before I passed Martin I felt like, Okay, I think I'm going to time this out just right to be able to get to them and hopefully pass them easily with 10 to go or so.
As I started getting closer to Harvick, I felt like my balance was starting to get a little bit tighter, so I was getting a little bit worried. Then, yeah, I mean, I got, I don't know, eight car lengths back or so from Kyle, I started getting even tighter. He changed his line up a little bit, probably messed my aero up a little bit, but not much. I think my balance was just pretty tight at that point.
Yeah, I would say with, I don't know, 10 or 12 to go I probably‑‑ that's when I felt like I wasn't even going to have a shot to race him. But, yeah, it ended up being a pretty good finish.

Q. How much did you channel your dirt roots running the high line there at the end?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I think having a dirt background racing Sprint cars a lot, running a cushion a lot helps for when you have to run inches off the wall like that. I kind of think like Eldora or something. If you're going to run the top, you have to commit, enter on the wall, just run the wall the whole corner.
I got a lot of laps of doing that kind of stuff in Sprint cars. Just makes me comfortable for when I get into the stockcar stuff. Felt like I did a really good job today of staying disciplined. Only got the wall one time in three and four there about the time I was getting tight. I got into the wall and probably made myself a little tighter.

Q. After you hit the wall, regrouping and getting the car back to where you can handle it, you did go back right up to the high side.
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, I knew there was no other way I was going to pass him or get to him other than just staying committed to the wall, even after I hit the wall. I drug the right side a little bit there, assumed I was going to get tighter because you usually do after you hit the wall.
I don't know if it changed a whole lot. I was already pretty tight at that point. Yeah, I don't know. I just never gave up.

Q. One of the things we noticed all season long is you seem to have the Chevrolet figured out opposed to all the others. Did you put extra planning into that in the beginning of the season? Why are you out front of the Chevys?
KYLE LARSON: I don't know. I don't know if we did extra planning or what. Last year we out ran the other Chevys a lot, too, even when the old style body. I think our team is just ahead of the other Chevy teams. I don't know.
I feel like our car is just as good. Today I actually felt my car was a lot better than I was last year here at least. Yeah, I mean, I was really, really pleased with that. I feel like typically at Chicago I'm an eighth place car, and today I felt like I had winning speed. I was happy.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time, Kyle.
KYLE LARSON: Thank you.

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