That’s mostly because mistakes by driver and team prevented Larson, who finished second, from ever being able to contend for the lead.
Larson made 90 green-flag passes during the race after he had to come up through the field twice. The first time because Larson started last, a result of not getting through pre-qualifying inspection quickly enough on Friday to make a lap.
The second time was due to a speeding penalty on pit road. The punishment was restarting from the rear of the field.
NASCAR America’s analysts discussed Larson and his marches through the field after costly mistakes could lead to a more difficult championship fight in the playoffs.
“The 90 green-flag passes tells me Kyle Larson had a race-winning racecar, but the unfortunate part was he had 90 cars to pass,” Steve Letarte said. “The team did everything right in car preparation and they did a lot of things right in the race. But not making qualifying and one time speeding on pit road, it’s just too much. You cannot make mistakes like this in the playoffs. You cannot do this when it comes to the last 10 races.”
Said Jeff Burton, “Think of all the points they gave away in the stages. They are already in a deficit to Martin Truex Jr. They just gave him more. The once car that potentially had the speed to take those points away, put themselves in a position where they couldn’t.”
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