Kyle Larson won the first two stages of Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway, but a costly mistake in the final stage cost him not only the win, but left him with a disappointing 26th-place finish.
“We had a good car that was top-three speed, probably the third or fourth-best car, I just got overly aggressive there and got myself in the wall,” Larson said. “The last two weeks have been my fault. I’ve been saying I had a bunch of bad luck to start the year and the last two weeks have been my own fault, so that’s the most disappointing part.”
On Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett talked about what happened to Larson:
Burton: “You’re racing for position, we’ve all done it, you make a mistake, you own up to it and you move on. Kyle Larson could make an argument the spotter called him clear, but when the spotter calls you clear and you’re not, you’re the only one that goes to the hospital, so it’s your responsibility and he took full ownership. That’s what leaders do and I love hearing that from Kyle Larson.”
Letarte: “I can only take the position from the guy on top of the pit box. I’ve never been the guy behind the steering wheel. While I like Kyle taking ownership of this, my point is what can I do to help? That’s the conversation I’m going to have with Kyle today. I know you can drive, I know you’ve had bad luck, but I’m here to help. Is it something every 50 or 100 laps, do I need to remind you of the goal? Do I need to coach you down (the track)? I don’t know. He’s used to coming from shorter sprint type races with no one in his headset. He’s out there all on his own. Now you’re in NASCAR for 400- or 500-mile races, you have people to help you, what can I do? As a race car driver, (Dale Jarrett, you) were so successful for so many years, did you feel that with the spotter or crew chief, or did you try to put it all on yourself to try and manage those 500 miles?”
Jarrett: “A driver has to do that more, you want to use all the resources you have. I appreciate what Kyle Larson did there. That spotter’s a long way away, especially like at a place like Pocono. But ultimately, it’s your decision what you do in that race car. They’ve gotten more difficult to see of, you go by feel so much. This is so close to being okay, but four, five, six inches makes the whole difference. If he stays down, will he be okay? That’s something he’s going to have to replay in his mind, or was he just loose and had to chase it up there and didn’t have much choice but to be going with that. They’re getting better race cars, so they’re giving Kyle Larson better chances to do good things. He just has to finish it off now.”
To hear all of the three analysts’ comments on Larson, click the video above.