Martin Truex said he was “angry” after losing the lead on the restart in overtime and finishing second.
But the points leader’s anger was at himself, not Kyle Larson, who rallied to win for the third consecutive time at Michigan International Speedway.
“My screw-up gave him the win, basically,’’ said Truex, who led 57 of the 200 laps.
Truex led when the field came to the final restart but didn’t get a good jump. That allowed Larson, who started behind Truex in the outside lane, to cut toward the middle of the track, get underneath Truex and take the lead in Turn 1.
Asked how he won, Larson told NBCSN: “I have no idea.’’
“If a guy screws up in front of you, you take advantage,’’ Truex said after the race. “So I screwed up and he took advantage, that’s the way it works.
“Typically it’s a lot easier to not spin your tires when you’re in the second row than it is when you’re on the first row, whether you’re first or second. … Kyle laid back a car length coming into the restart zone, and so I waited later in the zone to go, waiting for him to catch up to me. I actually wanted him to hit me.
“When he did, I tried to go. It spun the tires. I did everything right. It caught me by surprise. I hadn’t spun the tires all day long, did not expect to have an issue with it. When I did, there was nothing I could do. I was helpless. He had the momentum and done what everybody else would have done. My screw-up gave him the win basically.’’
Even when he led late and teammate Erik Jones was second, Truex said he never gave any thought of letting Jones by to get the win and assure Jones a spot in the playoffs.
“That’s not how we race,’’ Truex said. “Nobody out there races that way. Nobody is going to give a Cup win up. They’re too hard to get.’’