Gonna be an interesting team meeting at Hendrick Motorsports this week.
If you missed yesterday’s Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway, you missed one of the best NASCAR Cup Series races in quite awhile – especially at an intermediate track.
The new Next Gen car brought cars that were tough for the drivers to wheel around the 2-mile oval, but it also brought a ton of passing and excitement that have often been missing from the mile-and-a-half tracks in the past few years.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same as Kyle Larson picked up where he left off last season and took his first checkered flag of 2022.
He made some enemies along the way though – namely his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott.
Late in the race, Larson was battling Joey Logano for the lead when his teammate Elliott made a hard move to the outside of the pair to attempt to make it three wide for the lead.
But Larson suddenly turned right and appeared to throw a monster block on Chase, which squeezed Elliott into the outside wall
Chase faded back through the pack quickly after his contact with the wall, and things went from bad to worse a few laps later when a broken toe link caused his #9 Chevrolet to spin and bring out the race’s final caution. Elliott would eventually finish the race in 26th, two laps down.
Elliott’s team told their driver that it was a “dick move” by Larson, and told him next time to “hold your wheel and turn left” (to wreck Larson instead of himself).
For his part, Larson claims that he didn’t mean to put Chase into the wall, and that he had no idea his teammate was on his outside when he moved up the track:
“I had a run so I went to peel off and as soon as I peeled off my spotter’s yelling ‘Outside, outside, outside!’
I had no clue he was even coming…
I would never run into my teammate or block him that aggressively and that late on purpose.”
Kyle Larson explains what happened in the contact with Chase Elliott and then explains what he will tell Elliott and if he is worried that this could be more than a bump in the road for them working together as teammates: pic.twitter.com/wI5GkrNS1n