Darlington NASCAR Cup Southern 500 defeat 'stings' for Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson admitted that his last-gasp defeat in the NASCAR Cup Series' Southern 500 at Darlington "stings" particularly badly in a year of near-misses

Darlington NASCAR Cup Southern 500 defeat 'stings' for Kyle Larson

The Ganassi driver again came agonisingly close to his first Cup race win of 2018 in Sunday night's race, winning the first two stages and leading 284 of the 367 laps.

But Larson was beaten out of the pits by Brad Keselowski at the final stops and then lost second to Keselowski's Penske team-mate Joey Logano at the subsequent restart.

"It stings, for sure, to not win at a prestigious race like this," said Larson.

"I want to win every race, but I want to win a Southern 500 really bad.

"That was the first time [Keselowski] was out front all race long. He showed that he was really fast in clean air.

"I think if I could have been the control car for that restart... he beat me by just a nose off pit road and kind of won the race. I was really loose in traffic behind those guys trying to run hard.

"Even when I'd catch lapped traffic, I'd get extremely loose."

This was the seventh time in 25 races this season Larson has finished second or third, and the third time he had led the most laps but failed to win.

But the speed his car showed in what has been a tough season so far for the new Chevrolet was a pleasant surprise for Larson.

"I feel like in the last, I don't know, two months or so, the other Chevy teams have really found some speed - RCR and Hendrick especially, Chase [Elliott] winning, [Alex] Bowman has been running good," Larson said.

"I feel like we've kind of been stale up until this weekend.

"We had a good test at Richmond. We learned some things with some different components, and I felt like it really helped our car there.

"Chad [Johnston, crew chief] called back to the shop to get the primary [car] for here swapped over to kind of how we had it for Richmond, and was hoping that it was going to show some speed here - which it did.

"This is a good time of year to get some speed going before the playoffs, when we haven't had speed the last few months."

shares
comments
NASCAR Darlington: Penske's Brad Keselowski gets first win of 2018

Previous article

NASCAR Darlington: Penske's Brad Keselowski gets first win of 2018

Next article

NASCAR Cup champion Truex's team to cease operations at end of 2018

NASCAR Cup champion Truex's team to cease operations at end of 2018
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Jim Utter
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020