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'I'm Not Proud Of It': Kyle Larson's Win At Watkins Glen Controversially Comes At Teammate Chase Elliott's Expense
Kyle Larson pulled off a daring maneuver that bumped his team member Chase Elliott to the fourth position.
"Race For The Championship" stars Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott may have some heated words behind the scenes at the Hendricks Motorsports team headquarters following the final laps at Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at the Glen.
Those who tuned in saw the nail-biting moment when, with just five laps to go, Larson utilized the restart to position himself to pass his teammate, taking the lead and ultimately earning him the No. 1 position finish and bumping Elliot down to No. 4.
According to NASCAR.com, Elliot chose where to line up alongside Larson for the green flag and opted for the outside. This gave Larson the opportunity for the dramatic maneuver at the first turn, but it also opened the door for AJ Allmendinger and Joey Logano to do the same. Despite what it would mean for his teammate, Larson seized the opportunity, a move he admitted after the race he was not proud of.
“That was really my only opportunity (to go for the lead), I’m not proud of it,’’ Larson told reporters after the race. “But being in the inside lane, the right lane, being the leader, choosing the left lane, it definitely wins out. But when it gets late in the race, it’s definitely risky. I knew that was my only opportunity to get by him.”
Larson, who earned his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series victory, noted that he anticipated having words about his actions with Elliot at the Hendricks Motorsports meeting on Monday. However, he hopes Elliott will understand capitalizing on an opportunity for a win.
According to NBC Sports, that hope may not be based in reality. Elliott was reportedly very animated on pit road after the race while speaking with car owner Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon. However, he remained steely and silent on the radio and even more so to the media after the race. After all, his placement still secured him the regular-season championship.
That said, Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, told the outlet that Elliott’s professional demeanor should not be confused with forgiveness.
“What’s most important is that we have a good cohesive race team internally,” Andrews said. “I think Chase did a wonderful job post-race. I commend him, for all the frustration that was there, some of the things that could have been said. But, again, we’re going to work on it internally.”