It was a case of so close yet so far for Kyle Larson, who showed immense zest in taking home the Daytona Road Course win. But just as he was about to do so, he spun off the track and into the tires’ barrier.
Undoubtedly, that would have come as a blow for any driver, having toiled through the stages to get to that position. Especially after notching a Top-10 in the Daytona 500, another good result was on the cards for him.
Following the race, Larson said, “It took five or seven laps to get comfortable on the track, but even after that you’re inching up on your braking zones. I think halfway through the first stage I was in a good spot with being comfortable with the race track.”
“I made some decent passes and we made the car better. We were in a great position to win but made a mistake that cost us a chance to win.”
The Hendrick Motorsports No.5 had achieved a great start, and just at the halfway mark of Stage 1, had even moved into 8th place. At the conclusion of Stage 2, he was still in the top half places by finishing 16th.
“I just drove in really far and probably got a little wheel hop. I just carried too much speed and backed it into the tire barrier.” The Hendrick Motorsports No.5 concluded by saying, “I just got overly aggressive.”
After being spot on with his pit-stop strategy, the 28-year-old had put in an incredible effort to get into third behind Bell and Logano. Had he negotiated those tricky turns, there would have been a three-way race with the final lap to go.
Following the chicane, Larson’s car, which showed a good level of pace, could well have caught up to the pack leader. But in a moment of eagerness, the attempt to pass early did not work out for him, which saw him earn just 30th.
Therefore, Larson would have been absolutely gutted to have missed out on an opportunity for his first Cup win in 2021. But that said, it was a great showing from Larson until the incident and will take confidence from his performance ahead of the next race.