DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson said “I overreacted” when he wrecked Justin Haley in the Feb. 6 Clash at the Coliseum and felt bad about the incident immediately.
Larson and Haley were running for third in the Clash at the Coliseum when they had their issue.
The incident started when Larson’s teammate, William Byron, hit Haley. That sent Haley’s car into the back of Larson’s car, triggering the retaliation.
In his interview with Fox Sports after the crash, Haley said: “(Byron) got into the back of me and shoved me into Kyle and Kyle just came down and put me in danger. Not really impressed by the move. It’s hard to be a rookie and gain respect. … It’s kind of b.s.”
Larson explained Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway his point of the view of the incident with Haley at the Clash.
“I’ll start off by saying I overreacted,” Larson said.
“I’ll play it out in my mind. I went down the backstretch and knew (Haley) was on my outside. I got clear late in the straightaway, and the next thing I know, he was running the left side of me.
“You just see red really quickly. ‘Dang it.’ It was like, ‘Now I’m stuck on the outside, and I’m about to get shoved really far back, and I’m mad at you,’ so, yes, I hung a left on him.
“I did not want to crash him, but I wanted that inside lane for the next corner. So I felt really bad. Instantly felt bad that I crashed him. He came over and talked to me after the race. I told him ‘I’m sorry that I wrecked you.’
“Yes, I wish I would have understood the racetrack that we were at and that somebody else probably shoved him into me, and maybe I wouldn’t have overreacted as bad as I did. I definitely felt bad about that. It is what it at this point.
“I’ve just got to learn from those moments. I feel like I do a really good job, normally, of staying calm. I think that instance, I didn’t, and I think probably with no points on the line probably played a factor in my overreaction. I hate that I tore up their car because of the lack of equipment that all the teams have right now. Nobody can really afford to be tearing stuff up at this point.”