Watch the video as Chase Elliott walked right to his team owner after getting taken out by his teammate
On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series unloaded in Watkins Glen, New York. Chase Elliott started on the pole position at Watkins Glen International with teammate Kyle Larson starting alongside.
Watch the video below.
And with 5 laps to go, Larson and Elliott restarted at the front row for the race win. AJ Allmendinger gave Larson a shove on the inside lane. That moved Kyle Larson ahead of Chase Elliott but only by a few inches.
As they entered turn one, Larson missed his braking point. With the left front wheel locked up, Larson slid through the corner and into the door of teammate Elliott.
Larson took over the race lead. He held off a charge from Allmendinger and grabbed his 2nd race win of the season.
After the race, Elliott walked right over to team owner Rick Hendrick as well as Jeff Gordon. He was visibly frustrated. However, Elliott zipped his frustration in the post race interview…
Chase Elliott comments after contact with Kyle Larson
“Just a huge congratulations to Kyle and everybody on the No. 5 team,” Chase Elliott said as he ignored the elephant in the room.
Elliott was asked what he would like to say to Larson.
“congratulations. Seriously, he did a great job. They did a great job. Looking forward to going to Bristol next week.”
Elliott was asked about his conversation with Rick Hendrick.
“I just congratulated him. Always good to see HMS win. And, looking forward to next week,” Elliott added.
Kyle Larson comments on the move
“I knew that was kinda my only opportunity,” Kyle Larson said of the move into turn one.
“I’m not proud of it. But, being in the inside lane, and the leader chosing the outside lane, when it gets late in the race, it’s definitely risky. That was my only opportunity to get by him.”
“Our cars were pretty equal today. I had a lot of fun after the green flag cycle trying to chase him down. But, the restarts kept me in it.”
Larson was asked if he would like a conversation if the shoes were reversed.
“I’m sure we would ultimately have a conversation. We have a competition meeting tomorrow. If I was in his shoes, I would understand the risk that I’m taking, chosing the left lane, also.”
“I’m not proud of it. But, I did what I thought I had to, to get the win.”
“It’s just part of racing at road courses. Especially this year, it seems like. Again, not proud of it. But, we did what we had to do.”
“I figured it was going to be the last restart of the weekend. I told myself that if I had a nose ahead of him before we got to the braking zone, then I was going to have to try my best to maintain that. Not let him pinch my corner off and end my chance of winning.”
“I had a good restart, got in there hot and did what I had to do to win.”
Larson comments on past altercations with Elliott
“We’ve been in a good spot,” Larson said of his relationship with Elliott.
“We were able to talk after the incident at Auto Club and moved on past that pretty quickly. At Auto Club, it was more of an accident. Today, it was more hard racing on a restart.”
“I’m sure it will warrant some kind of conversation.”
“I’m sure I’ll have a conversation with Rick and Jeff Gordon. I think it’s risky taking the left lane here at Watkins Glen. It’s definitely the preferred lane but you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position to get used up on exit.”
Heading into the playoffs
One race from now, the playoffs begin. Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are two of the favotites heading into the 10-race playoff system.
“In my position, you have to expect not getting any breaks cut my way,” Larson said of Elliott.
“You have to weigh all that out under caution. And, that’s all stuff that crossed my mind.”
“I hope it will be fine. But, we’ll see. I didn’t end his day today but I did take a win from him.”
“In the playoffs, there may be moments. But, I think in my position I have to just accept it.”
“We talked after the race,” Jeff Mendering of Hendrick Motorsports stated from the media center.
“You saw Chase talking to Mr. Hendrick and Gordon as well. As you can imagine, I really don’t blame him for the frustration.”
“Two great race cars. We ran toward the front all day long. Great job on the strategy. Everything we playing out our way to come home with a 1-2 finish.”
“It’s a tough race track, for a restart standpoint. Turn one is known for that kinda contact and shaking things up there at the end. Certainly hate that for Chase. At the same time, I know there was no intent by Kyle to have that happen.”
Mendering added, “As a team, we’ll work on that internally.”