Kyle Larson: I need to work on word choice after ‘cheating’ comments

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Kyle Larson admitted Wednesday he’s not the best at crafting his words and that no one knows that better than his wife.

“I think there’s right times to say what’s on your mind and other times I could definitely do a better job of using different words or something that could make things come across a lot better,” Larson said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On Track” with Danielle Trotta and Larry McReynolds. “(Wife) Katelyn would probably be the first person to tell you I’m not the best with my words.”

Larson’s choice of words were in the spotlight after comments he made Tuesday on NASCAR America’s Splash & Go that Hendrick Motorsports “plays games” with NASCAR early in the season before “they start cheating and finding some speed.”

Larson told “On Track” he intended the comment, to be “funny,” but it came out wrong about Hendrick, which supplies engines for Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevrolet driven by Larson.

“Either way, it hurt some feelings,” Larson said. “Hendrick is a partner of ours at Chip Ganassi Racing. We love having their support, and we use their engines. We believe we have the best engines out there.  I meant no harm by it. But I regret saying that because they are partners of our race team in a way.”

Larson said “he’s got to work” on refining his bluntness, but that he will “still be who I am at the same time.”

Even if choosing the proper wording isn’t his strong suit, Larson has drawn praise for a long history of honest comments, particularly during the 2018 season.

“Growing up watching NASCAR, and when it started getting corporate, I didn’t ever want to be like that,” Larson said last year. “You have to be a little bit, but I like being honest. I think fans should appreciate drivers being honest and open, and this is my personality.

“Yeah, I don’t like sugar-coating stuff. You have to here and there to not hurt feelings or get yourself in trouble, but I like being open.”