BRISTOL, Tenn. – Another opportunity to win, another chance lost.
While it’s hard to be negative after a runner-up finish — especially after rallying from a spin — Kyle Larson wasn’t overjoyed with his finish Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch passed Larson for the lead with six laps to go to deny Larson his first Bristol Cup win.
“I knew it would be hard to get back to him,’’ Larson said. “I knew I would need a lapper to kind of hold him up on exit and kill his momentum to allow me to maybe get back to his bumper, but there just weren’t a whole lot of cars left out there.’’
That left Larson, who led a race-high 200 of 500 laps, without a trophy after leading 200 or more laps for the second time in the last three Bristol races.
“I was just checked out there that long run,’’ Larson said. “It was really, really good there, and was just hoping it would go green until the end, and then we pitted, and I was actually fine with that, too, because I knew we’d leave as the leader and restart on the outside. I just didn’t expect to get that loose that run there. (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) almost got by me, was able to hold him off. I thought the grip was getting better, which it did a little bit, but not nearly good enough.’’
It was quite a run for Larson, who brought out the caution on Lap 325 after contact with Ryan Newman’s car.
Even after the spin, Larson stayed in the top 10 and exited pit road second. He returned to the lead a little more than 100 laps later. He and Busch traded the lead three times in the last 28 laps.
The runner-up finish is Larson’s second of the year. He placed second to Martin Truex Jr. at Auto Club Speedway.