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August 18, 2018

Kyle Larson

Bristol, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Kyle Larson, driver of the NO. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing.
We'll open it up for questions.

Q. I heard you on TV saying you were disappointed overall. You have a second‑place finish. Are you disappointed because the car was never good enough for you to contend for the win the way you thought you would?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah. I mean, I'm happy to finish second. That's probably 12 to 15 spots I feel like better than where I deserved to finish. Our car was just really bad. I got lucky all night lining up in the right lanes. I could gain three or four spots every restart. Just fight to hang on there. Then I'd be terrible at the end of the runs.
There were two runs there where the leaders I think were a half straightaway back from lapping me. Thought my car was going to be really good after practice yesterday. Probably should have spent a little more time around the bottom to work on our balance there, to make it better.
See, probably the most frustrating Bristol race I've had just 'cause I never really felt like I had a shot to win.

Q. What did you think of the inside lane tonight? Was it consistent or inconsistent?
KYLE LARSON: I felt like after the first, I don't know, 75, hundred laps, the bottom stayed pretty consistent grip‑wise. It didn't really matter where I ran. Everybody that passed me either passed me on the top or the bottom, then drove away from me in each lane.
I would say the lanes are pretty equal and consistent. Just hard to pass. When you get down there, you can have more lap time down there, but then your exit gets kind of tight because they hang on your outside.
Yeah, Bristol is still a bad‑ass place. I think they've done a good job with figuring out exactly where they need the VHT.

Q. Even though you didn't feel like you had the car to compete for the win, being in the position that late in the race, did you think there was any circumstance that could take place that might give you a chance against Kurt?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I was very happy to have that second to the last restart work out where everybody was slamming into each other. I was able to sneak into fourth right before that caution came out. Fourth is the second best place to start besides the leader. I knew I would get out to second. I hadn't been around Kurt on the short runs there to see what he was doing. Was hoping maybe he would run the bottom for a couple laps.
He went straight away to the top. I knew it was going to be tough to pass him. I knew if I got close to him, I'd have to use the bumper a little bit. I never even got close enough to get to him there. I was loose in, tight off. Just fought the balance all night.

Q. You started at the pole, raced in the middle, drove through the field on tires. There was no clear car favorite. Would you say this was a good race? Is it because it is a short track or did something else play into it?
KYLE LARSON: I think just Bristol is an awesome place. If we could race here every Saturday and Sunday, our grandstands would be packed, our TV ratings would be very high. Let's build more Bristols.

Q. Was the bottom more dominant earlier than you thought it would be? Did that make it wear out quicker, everybody down there, than you expected?
KYLE LARSON: No. They reapplied it last night then I think again this morning. It was fresh for our race. I knew the bottom was going to be the place to be for a while until we got to traffic, then maybe you could move around.
I don't know what other guys think, but I didn't feel like the bottom really wore out. The top just gets going so fast early in the runs, then you can start making the bottom work again. There when this second stage was closing, I was all over the 22, the 9 got by me, then I was better than the 9, then he got the bottom going really good, almost drove by the 22.
The bottom was there. I feel like once the top slows down enough, you can get the bottom to work. It's kind of fun to try to figure out when that lane is going to come back in and be faster. So yeah, it's just a cool place.

Q. Yesterday you lamented not being able to race against Kyle Busch for the win. Today were you aware of what kind night he was having with the beat‑up car he had after lap two?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I could see his car was pretty destroyed. I was surprised NASCAR let him race without a bumper cover like that. I'm pretty sure in the rule book it says you can't do that. I remember I got mine knocked off at Fontana a couple years ago, they made us tape a new one on. I don't know if that's the fairest thing. Maybe because it's a short track and they think aerodynamics aren't important that they let him do that.
So yeah, he must have had some issues I guess maybe fueling it on pit stops. Every time he came down pit road, he would lose a bunch of spots. His car was really good. He was really good. He was able to drive through the pack, put on a pretty good show I'm sure for the fans. I'm not sure how he spun out, if it was his fault or somebody else's fault. He put on a good show, I'm sure.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Kyle.
KYLE LARSON: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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