LONG POND, Pa — Kyle Larson passed Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman for the top spot with four laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Pocono Raceway. He stalked Bowman for several laps prior but Bowman was just too good exiting Turn 1.
Finally, Larson made his move. He was in the right spot and forced Bowman out of his lane which allowed Larson to stay with Bowman’s No. 48 Chevrolet at the exit of the first corner. Larson and Bowman had a drag race down the long straightaway between Turns 1 and 2 and made a nice move to cut through the air and take the top spot away.
It was his race to lose at that point. All that separated Larson from a fourth straight points paying win was three laps around the Tricky Triangle. He was well in control. Until he wasn’t.
Larson’s kryptonite wasn’t another driver. It was a tire. He cut a tire and veered into the Turn 3 SAFER barrier on the last lap in the final corner as a result. Alex Bowman and eight other drivers got by as Larson limped home ninth.
It was his worst finish since May 2.
“I guess disbelief still,” he said following the race. “I don’t know, a little bit laughable just because I can’t believe it. Hate that we didn’t get another win. It would have been cool to win five in a row. It just wasn’t meant to be, I guess, today.”
Larson, said that he felt something right in the middle of the tunnel (corner).
“I wasn’t quite sure what it was yet,” he continued. “It finally kind of shredded halfway through the short chute there. I couldn’t turn. Hate that we didn’t get the win.”
Larson was happy that at the very least Bowman gave HMS a sixth straight victory as they were heading towards another 1-2 result. It would have been their fifth in the last seven races. In fact, they had three of the top four cars taking the white flag.
“Yeah, I hate we didn’t get HendrickCars.com into victory lane, but we’ll try to start another streak tomorrow,” he said.
“I guess that’s one thing that’s probably keeping me excited and not depressed, is that we get to go back again tomorrow. I’m sure our backup car will be just as good as that one. Feel like we learned a lot about our car today. The track came to us a lot. I think we should be good tomorrow.”