Kyle Larson‘s No. 42 Chevrolet caught everyone’s attention during Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway, and it was under the watchful eyes of NASCAR officials afterward.
During the FS1 broadcast, a NASCAR official stood behind Larson’s car, which seemed to have a major sag in its rear window. In a postrace interview (video above) Larson was asked by FS1 reporter Jamie Little if the sag was because of a collision with Ryan Blaney on Lap 248 of 267 while battling for third.
“Definitely (from the damage) because I didn’t have it until after Blaney and I got together, so I’m glad to see that we have a lot of damage back there,” Larson said. “Because obviously if there was no damage, we’d probably get a penalty, and who knows we might still, but I got a ton of damage back there.
“These cars are pretty rigid, and one piece of damage can affect the whole rest of the car as you can see, so we’ll see what NASCAR says about it, but I think it’s pretty obvious we have a ton of damage back there.”
A NASCAR spokesperson said Larson’s Camaro was taken to the R&D Center for further postrace inspection, along with Harvick’s Ford, runner-up Martin Truex Jr.‘s Toyota and Paul Menard‘s Ford.
The cars of Harvick and Truex were taken to R&D as the standard top two finishers are, and Menard’s car was the “random” that NASCAR selects. Larson’s car was taken because NASCAR officials decided further scrutiny was needed after the postrace inspection at the track.
NASCAR has penalized drivers and teams multiple times for rear window violations, including Kevin Harvick (who won Saturday at Kansas) after his victory at Las Vegas. Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez were dinged for rear window support brace failures last Sunday at Dover International Speedway, and Chase Elliott also was penalized after an 11th at Texas Motor Speedway.
Larson hung on to finish fourth Saturday after leading 101 laps and picking up his first playoff point with a win in the second stage.
“We just had a really good car tonight,” he said. “Our Chevy was fast. Blaney was side-drafting really hard. I was as high as I could get and made contact.
“I hate we didn’t turn today into a win. It’s satisfying to see how much speed we had in our car tonight. Good to show Chevy has a lot of speed, at least the 42 team. So we’ll just keep working hard and get as fast as (Harvick). I thought myself, (Harvick) and (Blaney) were pretty equal.”