Kyle Larson did everything he could to win Monday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
He led a race-high 203 laps in the 500-lap event, including dominating Stage 1, leading all 125 laps, as well as the first 77 laps in Stage 2.
But Larson, known for the heavy foot he has, saw that need for speed at the wrong time likely cost him the win.
When Erik Jones wrecked on Lap 422, Larson came to pit road and was too fast across two consecutive timing zones on the front straightaway en route to his pit stall.
“I was just pushing on pit road and messed up there,” Larson said after the race. “To start the race, I was the leader, I would run all my greens down pit road, and then once I fell back … down the straightaway I was running one red and flashed the second red real quick, and I guess that was all she wrote.”
NASCAR penalized Larson for speeding on pit road, dropping him to the back of the longest line, restarting in 20th place with 72 laps left in the race.
“Yeah, I knew I gave the race away there,” Larson said. “(I’m) disappointed in myself. I think I speed on pit road every single time I come to Bristol. So, I’ve got to clean that up.”
There’s that heavy foot admission once again.
Ironically, it was Larson’s first speeding penalty this season.
To his credit, Larson was able to quickly climb back up the grid, but couldn’t finish higher than sixth.
Still, Larson tried to a positive spin on things as he began to leave the track.
“I don’t know what more you could ask out of this place,” Larson said. “This is the best track we go to, most exciting place, and I love coming here.”
But he doesn’t like the way he came out of it once again, thanks to that darn heavy foot.