Larson has no hard feelings towards Truex after overtime clashes

Kyle Larson believes he just happened to be the outlet for Martin Truex Jr. to vent his frustration during Sunday night’s overtime finish at Richmond Raceway.

Larson and Truex traded multiple shots on the final lap of the Toyota Owners 400. The first came from Truex down the backstretch when he turned left into the right side of Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Off Turn 4, Larson ran Truex up the track, and the two collided twice more after the finish line.

“My view was Denny [Hamlin] used him up off (Turn) 2, just ran him out of racetrack to get the lead, which you’re going to do that on a green-white-checkered,” Larson said. “Then he was kind of falling back in the middle lane. [Joey Logano] got to his inside and kind of ran hard into (Turn) 1, and then I just followed the 22 through (Turns) 1 and 2.


“I think Martin … I don’t know if his spotter didn’t say that I was inside of him or what, but he just hung a left and hit my right front, had me up on the apron, and then turned left on me down the middle of the backstretch. Then we’re drag racing to the start/finish line, and I didn’t really care at that point if I was going to squeeze him into the wall since he turned left on me on the backstretch.

“I think, ultimately, he’s just mad at Denny, and I was the closest guy to him to take some anger out on.”

Larson finished third and Truex fourth, with the two combining to lead 372 of 402 laps and split the stage wins. Larson claimed the first stage and Truex the second.

Ironically, the caution that set up overtime was Larson spinning off Turn 4. Larson, who was running fourth, got loose off the corner, and contact from a closely trailing Bubba Wallace sent him spinning down the frontstretch and into the grass.

Despite the spin, Larson didn’t lose too much ground. He came off pit road fifth for the final restart and chose the outside lane to put himself on the outside of the second row.

“Good fortune, I guess,” Larson said of how the spin and caution didn’t end his chances. “I don’t really know how to describe it. I got lucky. I got lucky that I had room to spin and thankfully, I was hoping the grass wasn’t going to be too slick.

“I kind of got it pointed somewhat straighter when I got to the grass, and that helped me get going. Just thank my lucky stars.”

Wallace came to Larson after the race to apologize. It was a friendly conversation between the two.

“He wasn’t being intentional and if it was intentional, it was to help his race out to get a caution and hopefully have a good pit stop,” Larson said. “But it didn’t work out that way. It just is what it is.

“I’d be (expletive) off right now if I was spun and would have finished in the 20s or whatever. But I had some good karma today, and he had the bad karma from it (with a bad pit stop).”

Story originally appeared on Racer