Kyle Larson really, really wants to win at Bristol.
Larson was passed by Kyle Busch with six laps to go in Monday’s race and was dejected during his post-race interview. Larson hasn’t won at Bristol and said Friday that losing out to Busch again at the half-mile track stings more than any other Cup Series race in his career.
“Oh, I was really, really happy to run second to Kyle Busch and get beat in the final six laps. I love getting beat by Kyle Busch at Bristol,” Larson said sarcastically when he was asked about the race.
“Yeah, I was mad. That’s as close as I’ve come to winning a Cup race at Bristol. I don’t want to compare Bristol to any other races because that seems to get me in trouble when I compare races to races. But, I want to win extremely bad at Bristol. So, yeah, that one stung probably more than any Cup win I can kind of think of at this point. Every single time I race at Bristol, I go head-to-head with Kyle. Even though I might not win and run second to him every time or whatever, but throughout the majority of a race it’s always him and I nose to tail in lapped traffic, which is a lot of fun, but he seems to come out on the better end of it with wins and all that stuff.”
“So yeah, it sucked.”
Monday’s race was Larson’s first second-place finish at Bristol in the Cup Series but he’s finished second three times at the track in the Xfinity Series. All three of those second-place finishes have come behind Busch, who has 185 combined wins in NASCAR’s top three series.
Larson has won five races in 155 Cup Series starts and is getting very good at finishing second. He’s finished second 16 times in his Cup career. To put that into perspective, he has 38 top-five finishes.
Larson’s said his son Owen helped put the race in perspective after he walked back to his bus. Larson’s car was sponsored by McDonald’s while Busch’s winning car was sponsored by Skittles.
“I’d moved on shortly after because I was really mad when I got back to the bus and I texted Kyle [Busch] about this — but the last thing I wanted to hear but the first thing I heard when I walked in the bus was, ‘Oh, did you get me some Skittles?’ So, I couldn’t help but laugh at that, so that wasn’t what I wanted to hear but it kind of lightened the mood, so it helps to get over it a little bit.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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