HomeSportsNascarKyle Larson Claims He Would Have ‘8 or 10’ More Wins Without Late Cautions

Kyle Larson Claims He Would Have ‘8 or 10’ More Wins Without Late Cautions

by Jonathan Howard
Kyle Larson celebrates with William Byron in Las Vegas
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

For Kyle Larson, today was a tough loss as he finished P2 in the Pennzoil 400 with his teammate taking the checkered flag. The NASCAR driver found himself in the lead toward the end of the race, but a late caution reset the field and gave William Byron a path back to the lead.

If you’re going to lose, it helps if it is a teammate…sometimes. I think Kyle Larson would rather lose to Byron than say, Chase Elliott. Given how close he was to getting the win, I think this is going to bounce around in his mind a bit.

While talking to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, Larson was honest about these late-race restarts.

“Part of you is not surprised. Especially me, I feel like I’d have eight or ten more Cup wins honestly if it weren’t for cautions in the last five laps. I don’t remember winning too many of those. Or I don’t remember many of those working out in my favor to lead to a win.

“I was just trying to cut laps down and try to hit my marks. I could see Wiliam was closing on me but I could tell the gap wasn’t gonna get close enough to where he was gonna pass me. But yeah then the caution came out and you just kinda have to refocus. Give focus to executing your part for the pit stop.”

Another tough break for Kyle Larson. Then again, if he won, you’d say Byron caught a tough break. He did lead 175 laps, after all. That’s just how NASCAR goes sometimes.

Kyle Larson Gets First Top-5 Finish of Season

Now, it is hard not to see that Larson is a bit upset about the result of this race. He knew that he would have to be perfect on pit road to get the lead and win this race. Unable to do so, it opened the door for Byron to sweep both stages and the win at the end.

Kyle Larson should look on the bright side. The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion won’t feel this way, but it is the first top-five finish of the season for Larson. That’s something to celebrate. Last week in his home race at Fontana, he was out early with mechanical issues.

So, this is an improvement. 53 points and a P2 finish means that Larson had a good day. As he said in his postrace comments, his teammate likely had the best car on the day, so he won. It didn’t hurt that Byron’s pit crew was on top of it all afternoon.

Don’t beat yourself up too hard Kyle Larson. It is easy in the season. This is a good result and it can be improved upon. Next week is Phoenix and we will get a look at the championship track months before we settle the 2023 season.