After an incident last week at the NASCAR WISE Power 400 in Fontana, California, the Hendricks Motorsports Owner is speaking out. The event left driver Chase Elliott out of the race in its final stages after teammate Kyle Larson struck him and then went on to win the event.
Following an internal investigation, many were wondering how the team would develop a balance of keeping the race fair while letting their drivers race.
According to Sportskeeda, NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass interviewed Vice Chairman at Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon about the occurrence.
He says of the incident:
“They raced really really hard I know that. I mean, since anytime when I came to Hendrick Motorsports it was race hard but don’t wreck your team-mates. That’s just what you do. You wanna go race your team-mates for wins and settle it amongst yourselves so I thought they raced one another clean but very aggressively. I talked to Kyle Larson at the end he said he was trying really hard to get to the outside and maybe even pushed it too hard.”
The two drivers were on the 179th lap of the 400 mile race when Chevy driver Kyle Larson was trying to skirt racer Joey Logano. He admitted to not seeing Elliott coming from the outside when the two made contact, ending Elliott’s bid for a win.
“I had a run, so I went to peel off, and as soon as I peeled off, my spotter is yelling, ‘Outside! Outside! Outside!’ And I had no clue he was even coming,” Larson said after winning the race.
Kyle Larson Opens Up About NASCAR Incident with Hendrick Motorsports Teammate
Larson, however bad he felt, said the two teammates and drivers were probably both at fault for what happened.
“Yeah, I mean, I hate that I ended his day after they worked so hard to get back to the lead lap and back in contention to win, but it was just an honest mistake on probably both of our faults. I would have probably not been side drafting on Joey as hard as I was. I would have been more so protecting on Chase than worrying about Joey,” Larson said.
The WISE Power 400 is a race in the NASCAR Cup Series held at the Auto Club Speedway in California. Since 1997, team Hendrick Motorsports has won the race eight times, with Jeff Gordon being the first winner. Prior to 2010, the NASCAR race was 500 miles.
Kyle Larson’s full time job is a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. He drives the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports and was the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion.