NASCAR driver Kyle Larson comments on the Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott altercation
On Saturday, the NASCAR Cup Series returned to the 0.533-mile in Bristol, Tennessee. A Playoff elimination race unloaded drama on Bristol Motor Speedway, as expected.
Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott got into a screaming and pushing match after the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson drove to victory lane.
Harvick and Elliott made contact in the closing laps. The contact cut Elliott’s tire and he was forced to make a green flag stop, putting him three laps down.
With under 10 laps to go, Elliott found himself directly in front of race leader Kevin Harvick. Elliott ran his line, rather slowly for a car with fresh tires. In the process, Harvick was placed in dirty air.
The move allowed Larson to close to the bumper of Harvick. Larson threw a slide job and pinched Harvick in a thrilling battle for the win with 4 laps to go.
That’s what led to the post race discussion between Elliott and Harvick.
Race winner Larson is rarely involved in post-race fights, altercations or even heated discussions. The closest thing he’s had to that was with Christopher Bell earlier in the season when they only exchanged words in the press.
That’s a planned strategy per the build of the tiny race car driver…
Kyle Larson comments on Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott
“We all get upset at moments,” Kyle Larson stated from the media center.
“I’m sure Kevin felt like it cost him the win, which it very well may have. So, he’s going to be upset, rightfully so. Chase is upset.”
“Yeah, I don’t know, I wasn’t a part of it.”
Larson has been racing in NASCAR for a long time. However, we don’t see many scenarios where Kyle is in a post-race altercation. That’s not a fluke.
Larson explained, “I’m 5′ 6″ and 135 lbs. So, I’m not going to get too wound up about anything.”
“The racing here is always intense and very good,” Larson said.
“For whatever reason, I feel like we didn’t run into thick lap traffic. As much as I remembered it being here. But, I haven’t been here on this track since 2019.”
“We didn’t get into heavy stuff. And that’s what I always look forward to. I feel like I’m good at it.”
“We kinda did on that second to last run we had. When Chase and Kevin got together and I got into a lapper, there was a bunch of cars all together at that point in that spot of the race track.”
Larson added, “It was wild. But, it always is here.”
All three NASCAR races ended with drama. It was a big weekend for the track that’s lacked excitement in recent years. To the point that they fixed the track by dumping dirt on it back in March.
Bottom lane at Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway used to be single file around the bottom. Aggression was required to make a pass. That changed in 2007 when they added progressive banking between the different lanes.
Ever since, Bristol has been fixing the track. They’ve shaved off several degrees from the top lane, polished the bottom lane, added traction compound to the bottom lane and most recently added a line of paint.
On old Bristol, a yellow line was painted around the bottom lane of the track. Rubber would build up on the paint and create a narrow grip of traction for drivers to use. New for last weekend’s race, the inner paint line returned.
It appears Kyle was un-ware of that. But, he felt it…
Larson said, “The PJ1 or the sticky stuff on the bottom is always different, each time that we’re here.”
“I thought 1-2 was a little bit slicker than normal. Like, harder to hit your marks. 3-4 was pretty normal around the bottom.”
Larson concluded, “The top probably didn’t build up as much rubber as I remember. Either way, the characteristics are always similar to how it always is.”