Despite a fuel mileage debacle during Stage 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson is still leading the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs by 14 points heading into a wildcard race at Talladega Superspeedway next weekend.
“We were on the crap end of that where we just didn’t do a good job and we stayed out and had to pit when them guys were able to stretch it and then we went a lap down,” Larson said, who brought his car home 10th place. “We just did a poor job executing there in the second stage and got ourselves trapped a lap down and had to do the wave around. Being on old tires for half the lap stage, it was hard to battle our way through being at a tire disadvantage. I don’t know.
“We just had to fight and ended up 10th … would have liked to have been better, so I feel like we gave up a good bit of points but it’s nice that we’re a good bit ahead.”
Larson is almost certain to go to the next round of the playoffs unless he has a bad week or two. He came into Las Vegas with a 30-point lead over Martin Truex Jr., the then-second-place contender, and his advantage over Hamlin is mostly irrelevant because Hamlin won the race on Sunday, ensuring his spot in the next round. Kyle Busch, who trails Larson by 22 points, is the next viable contender in this round of the playoffs.
Looking ahead a week, he stated his performance today will have “no real” impact on how he approaches Talladega.
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