Kyle Larson Rips Bristol NASCAR Race: 'Hope I Never Have to Run a Race like That Again'

auto mar 17 nascar cup series food city 500
Larson Not Buying What NASCAR Selling at BristolIcon Sportswire - Getty Images
  • NASCAR put its best face, or at least comments, forward after a series of tire issues turned the race at Bristol upside down on Sunday.

  • The company line went so far as to say it was 'one of the best short-track races.'

  • Driver Kyle Larson wasn't buying what they were selling.

NASCAR Senior vice President Innovation and Racing Development John Probst described Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway as “one of the best short-track races I’ve ever seen.”

Fifth-place finisher Kyle Larson possessed a different opinion.

“I’ve never ran a race like that,” Larson said. “I hope I never have to run a race like that again. To have to run a race like that every week would not be good, and it’s honestly probably a black eye to Goodyear just with all the rubber that couldn’t get laid down and just wearing through tires and all that.”


The 54 lead changes broke the track record of 40 that was set in 1991. There were 16 different drivers who led and that tied the track record that was set in April 1989. Only five drivers finished on the lead lap, something that hadn’t occurred since Dover 2004.

auto mar 17 nascar cup series food city 500
A NASCAR sweeper cleans tire debris from the pits during the Cup Series race at Bristol on Sunday.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

“I know the race teams are probably pretty wore out right now,” Probst said. “I know our track crew and the folks up in the booth are pretty wore out. Certainly had some anxiety around … some tire wear and things like that, but all-in-all, I think it was probably one of the best short-track races I’ve ever seen,” Probst told media standing behind the NASCAR transporter less than two hours after the race.

During the race, NASCAR allowed Goodyear to give each team an additional set of tires.

“On the allotment, we actually removed a set of tires from the fall race coming into this race,” Probst said. “That’s on us. Not Goodyear. So, we actually gave that back during the race.

auto mar 17 nascar cup series food city 500
Kyle Larson didn’t exactly agree with NASCAR that the Bristol race should be consider some kind of instant classic.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

“We’ll go back and look at it all … there were times in the race when there is anxiety around are we going to have enough tires to finish it, but, man, coming out the end and watching all that, I would not want to change much at all, honestly. Just give them more tires.”

Denny Hamlin said his late model history paid off once he got into tire management mode.