To some, it may have appeared that Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson were just running into one another on the final lap of the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, but a lot more was happening than met the eye.
“I don’t think that (Larson) meant to just wreck Kyle Busch to win the race,” Jeff Burton said. “Once he got into him, could he have done something different? Could he have overdriven (Turn) 3 and kept Kyle from getting into him?”
Maybe, but Larson had only seconds to think before Busch was back on him.
“You drive into the corner. You know you’ve overdriven the corner. You’re hoping something’s going to happen. So what happens is you make contact with Kyle Busch. So a little bit of you is, ‘oh no I’m gonna wreck him.’ So now … you’ve gotta process all that quickly. And then he’s diving into Turn 3 and he’s gotta devise a plan. He doesn’t have a lap to devise a plan, because he didn’t know what was gonna happen on the exit of Turn 2.”
And once that initial contact was made, the car control of both drivers was incredible.
Larson dove hard into Turn 3. Busch came in even harder. The No. 18 banged into the rear bumper of the 42 and sent it sideways. Busch also slipped up the groove and hit the wall.
Both drivers saved their cars. Busch kept his straight. Larson had a lot more work to do in order to get his Chevrolet pointed in the right direction.
“(Larson) was calm and composed as he’s going through that spin there,” Parker Kligerman said. “He’s getting spun from the lead. You see him get nailed by Kyle Busch here going through the middle of 3 and 4. And we have that onboard shot, you can actually see him downshifting in the car very calmly down to third gear. He gets back in the throttle basically to drive the car off the banking so he doesn’t go into the outside wall. He gathers it up and is able to go on to finish second. That is incredible car control.”
But in order to even get to the back bumper of Larson, Busch had to drive deeper into the corner than he had all day.
“I’d like to go back if we can,” Burton said. “If we can pull that video back to Kyle Busch getting into the back of Kyle Larson because if Kyle Larson was a half a car length further away, Kyle Busch doesn’t get to him. Kyle (Busch) drove into the corner so far that he’s coming off the bottom when he makes contact with Kyle Larson.”
For more, watch the video above.