home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 10, 2021

Kyle Larson

Concord, North Carolina

Press Conference

An Interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Last but certainly not least is our winning driver, Kyle Larson.

We'll get right to questions.

Q. You were a premier dirt track racing, short track racer, oval racer. Have you surprised yourself at all with what a great road course racer you've become, too?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. I felt like for me to be able to qualify as good as I had in years past when we had qualifying on road courses, I felt like I was a good road course racer until I would get to the races and I wouldn't be very good just on the long run stuff.

Now, with Hendrick, I think just the setups kind of go along with me and my style. We're able to have good long run speed.

I still feel like I'm so far away from being where I could be as far as road course racer. I still think there's lots of, tons of room for improvement. I think there's so many more people out there that are better than me under braking, just doing little things better than me and we're able to get wins like we are.

I feel like if I can put some more work in, I should hopefully get a lot better.

Q. It seemed like you and your No. 5 team really had to work for it today. How gratifying is this victory given the circumstances?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, it's so satisfying because I really did not think that we were going to have a shot to win today. Had a lot of different emotions throughout the middle portions of that race, thinking that this is so depressing and sad and crazy that I'm going to lose my shot at a championship because of an alternator issue, to, okay, now we got it fixed, let's try to get away with a top 15 finish, keeping all the fenders on it.

I was passing some cars. We had a really good green flag cycle. I'm trying to look at the big screen. I see Denny coming up on my mirror. I'm like judging off of that, Okay, I think I'm towards the front here now. Man, I'd love to see a caution come out. Then it all worked out.

Not that many people stayed out with him. I knew he was in trouble. I had just a lot of stuff work out for us. William having to go through the backstretch chicane that allowed us to get to second. From then on I was like, We really have a good shot to win now.

Just a wild range of emotions all race long. Just crazy that I'm sitting here talking to all of you.

Q. Seems like you chose your battles wisely. How confident were you that you had the car underneath you to make the final charge you did?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I knew I had a car that was definitely capable of winning. I was trying to be patient with it. I knew I had much better tires than Denny. But to a point I was too patient with him the first restart. I was able to somehow get past Reddick. I think him and Denny got battling. I was able to get him before we got back onto the oval, turn one over there. A caution came out shortly later.

I told myself I still need to be smart and patient, but not to waste any time if I get an opportunity. I had a good restart, was able to get single file off of turn one. The restart before Denny had kind of entered low and washed really high in the center of three and four over here. I knew that was going to be a good opportunity for me if I could get my angles right to get pointed and squirt in front of him and at least get in position on him off of four.

Yeah, that restart went really well for me. Kind of had to manage the gap and not make any mistakes.

Q. You complete a sweep of the Charlotte races. It's your second straight win in an elimination race. Do you believe there's something about you and your team that you know how to flip the switch and just peak at the right time?

KYLE LARSON: I'm not sure. I will say, though, that my team did an amazing job today. Steven getting the belt changed, Jesse changing the battery, my pit crew staying calm, listening to Cliff when communicating with him, when we're having to change up our plans when they're changing the cautions to quick yellow, things like that.

I think Cliff is more good at kind of flipping the switch and keeping everybody motivated and calm, just communicating well with all the tasks that each and every one of us needed to get done.

Then our race car is really good, too, which allows us to be more patient in situations like that. I think when you're trying to fight handling or speed just in general, you can really overdrive and make mistakes.

Having a good car helped with the switch, I guess.

Q. You had so much to go through to get to the end. Cliff said several times your hands were shaking on the late restarts. Why the nerves at the end of the race instead of when you were facing all the stuff early? What is that about your handshaking?

KYLE LARSON: It wasn't my hand. My brake leg was kind of getting twitchy just from nerves and stuff. Not under caution. Once we got going, I got the lead, I couldn't believe I got the lead that early on the restart.

But yeah, I mean, I guess that was just an excited anxiety shake then. Early on when I was having all my issues, I was just kind of sad and depressed that this was going to be how my season was going to end, where we didn't even really have a crash or a mistake on our part. It was just something kind of freak happen.

Yeah, just had a lot of emotions. It all worked out.

Q. Were you aware of everything that was going on with Harvick and Chase during the race at all? You'll now catch up on it?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I need to really go back and watch what happened. Obviously we had the big screen so I saw Kevin get into Chase over here, get his payback I'm guessing. But, man, Chase's team did such a good job, such a good job, fighting through that.

I think any other race in the season, you'll probably give up and just patch it together the best you can, and the driver also is probably going to limp it around and accept that they aren't going to make the next round.

Not Alan and Chase, that whole 9 team. It's unbelievable what they did. I think they finished 13th or something like that. That's crazy.

Q. 12th.

KYLE LARSON: 12th, that's just crazy. I was following along with that.

Then I saw Kevin -- I heard about Kevin getting into the barriers at one. I wasn't sure if Chase got into him or not. I saw on the big screen that didn't happen.

Just a wild race for so many different people. So many drivers had to overcome something I felt like today. I don't think there was anybody that probably had a smooth race at all.

Q. Even with your points you have, so many this round, the ups and downs of Talladega, are you ready for the next round and the challenges ahead? Are you just glad this one is over and feel more confident about the next round?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, I'm glad I'm through. I'm glad I somehow got five more points to take into the next round for sure.

I think you look at probably where had I been in the same -- you eliminate four cars out of this round, I'm much closer to the cut line going into Martinsville, if I have an average first race, a bad second race, then we're in an extra stressful situation going into Martinsville.

Hopefully Texas goes smooth. Hopefully Kansas goes smooth and we can be a little bit more stress-free. I guess I can't imagine I'll be much more ahead of the cut line than I probably was going into today, just with everybody having more points.

Yeah, you got to be really good. You got to do a good job every lap of every race. You got to get stage points. You just can't let your guard down and lose ground on guys that are gaining points on you.

Yeah, it's nice to have the bonus points that we have. I'm hoping we don't have to lean on 'em like we did at Talladega going into today.

Q. You were talking about you don't believe in luck. After a race like this, are you still a believer in you make your own luck, or things fell your way today?

KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, I don't know, bad luck with the alternator belt, but after that I think for sure you make your own luck. Cliff leading all of us to get our tasks done, keep ourselves in the game. Maybe the ladybug on the roof of my car made a difference today.

I don't know. I don't even really want to think about luck, good luck, bad luck, anything right now. I just want to go out there and do our jobs and it will all take care of itself.

Q. Rick was in before you. He thinks that NASCAR needs to step in between Chase and Kevin. As a driver, do you think the sanctioning body needs to sort of referee?

KYLE LARSON: I don't know. I haven't been in that situation yet to have a true opinion. I'm very glad that Chase was able to overcome everything that happened today. You never know if Kevin's going to feel like he still owes him more.

That's between them two. NASCAR, if they feel like they need to step in, I don't truly have an opinion of it.

Just glad that Chase was able to overcome it today.

Q. 2018 you almost had this race won. Now you swept the races here at Charlotte. How sweet is it to overcome this and accomplish this victory in front of Mr. H in a hometown race?

KYLE LARSON: No doubt. That moment of 2018, I can guarantee you it's on my mind every restart of every Roval race I've ran since then. That's all I can think about.

Coming to the restart zone, lining up next to Denny in the right lane, like don't do that again. I don't even know how that happened last time because I don't feel like I drove in that much deeper then as I would have today. But it happened.

It's on my mind. Yeah, cool to overcome and make it into the next round that day, then to get two Charlotte wins this year.

THE MODERATOR: Kyle, congratulations. Thank you for the time.

KYLE LARSON: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297