Days After Declaring War on Bubba Wallace, Kyle Petty Addresses Kyle Larson’s Unreachable Milestone

Published 09/04/2023, 5:01 PM EDT

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Former racer Kyle Petty was never one to hold back when it came to verbal disputes. The internet is almost always filled with fresh controversies that the commentator has riled up with his opinions. Most recently, the victim of his words was 23XI Racing star Bubba Wallace. Throwing harsh comments at the driver for refusing an interview before the Daytona race, Petty picked a fight with him.

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With the spotlight not yet removed from that, he now has fresh comments on a different driver, but not negative ones this time. Coming back from Darlington Raceway for the 2023 Playoffs opener, Kyle Petty got in front of the camera to discuss the contest, favoring the performance put up by Kyle Larson and his team.

Kyle Petty shows his softer face to Kyle Larson and HMS

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The race at Darlington saw Kyle Larson make use of the advantages that drivers like Denny Hamlin gave him to secure the pole position. Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t had the best season this year. Managing to place only two cars in the final 16, they weren’t racing with the usual odds that they usually do. But Kyle Larson’s win in the Southern 500 reinvigorated things for the team.

Speaking of the race, Kyle Petty spoke in praise of the way Larson and runner-up Tyler Reddick drove their cars. Attributing their rugged style to “midget type racing,” Petty said, “Kyle Larson is just, that place was built for him and Tyler Reddick.

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“Right up next to the wall, a couple inches away beating and banging off the wall, but never really slowing down. That’s that sprint car. That’s that type of racing that those guys grew up on. Great to see what those guys could do.”

The veteran also did not forget to laud Hendrick Motorsports’ engine shop for reaching their 500th win. He talked about the expanse of the achievement and said, “That is huge in this sport. I want you to think about that. They have built engines that have won 500 races. They are on their 299th win as an organization. Those are milestones in the sport that may never be reached again. And we should celebrate that.”

The praise that Kyle Petty had for Kyle Larson and his team is certainly refreshing to watch. But one person for whom it might not have been so is Bubba Wallace. Going into Darlington, the driver hit back at Kyle Petty’s comments about him being mentally fragile, “Well, I’m just here fulfilling my media obligations before the race. I got a word count, though. I start speaking too many words; I get really anxious and mentally fragile. Now, on to the s— that matters.”

Darlington was Bubba Wallace’s debut playoff race and he finished at a commendable P7. Back to Kyle Larson: By winning the race, the driver has put himself in a prime position for ultimate glory. But when asked about it after the night ended, he had a surprising take on the win.

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Kyle Larson poises himself and his team to take the ultimate win

By winning at Darlington, Kyle Larson has propelled himself into the round of 12. Despite the magnitude of this achievement, the driver had a modest answer to a question posed by Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. The reporter asked, “After the summer you had, is it bigger to just get a win or is it bigger to get a win to advance to the next round?”

While many would’ve claimed that advancing to the next round was the obvious bigger win, Kyle Larson took a different route and said, “For me, honestly, it’s just good to get a win. And, hopefully, we can build on this and put together some solid weeks. Back to back to back. It has been a long time since we put together a few good weeks in a row. Good opportunity to gain some momentum.”

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Despite entering the playoffs on the weaker leg, HMS has managed to get a good win at Darlington. Should HMS fellows follow Kyle Larson’s words and keep the positive momentum going for the next 9–10 weeks, they might just finish the season at a new high.

Watch Story: Kyle Larson Name Drops “Top 3 Guy” as Biggest Championship Roadblock

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Written by:

Gowtham Ramalingam

365Articles

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Gowtham Ramalingam is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. His love for motorsports stems from his fascination with Formula 1. Possessing an obsession for anything with an engine, the roads eventually led him to the raw grounds of NASCAR and he has been an avid fan of the sport ever since.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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