Things got dicey once again this past weekend at the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.
The dirt race has been criticized by a number of drivers as “regressive” for the sports, and even dirt track pros like Kyle Larson aren’t a fan of the new Bristol surface. And after the kind of day Kyle Larson had yesterday, it’s not a surprise.
Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece made contact multiple times yesterday, and on the last time, it ended Larson’s day for good, as his car suffered too much damage to continue the race.
The contact from Preece seemed to be retaliation for contact earlier in the race:
It all began on lap 79 of the 250 lap race, when the two made contact and sent Preece into the wall.
Preece wasn’t too happy, as he drive up alongside Larson during a caution a few laps later, and you can see him shaking his hand at Larson.
After the incident, Preece said “game over” on his radio, according to NBC Sports.
Preece explained to the outlet what exactly he meant by that:
“I think you just get mad getting run in the fence. There was no meaning, it’s just from inside that race car you’re like, ‘I’m not gonna lift.’
When it comes to being run into the fence, every time you lift, if guys see you lifting when you’re at the right rear corner, they’re just gonna keep running you up in the fence.
I think when I meant game over, I meant just not gonna keep lifting and giving that respect of, ‘Hey, I’ll give you this room.’ It comes down to that.”
Larson also weighed in:
“It was a tight clear off of (Turn) 4. Obviously, I’m looking in my mirror and it didn’t seem as if he was to my right rear yet. I don’t know if he got into the wall, but he had a pretty short temper, obviously.
He tried to crash me, I think, after that. He was sort of mad at me under yellow.”
He then discussed the moment he ended Preece’s day for good:
“I assumed it had been an hour and a half or so since that happened. It wasn’t my fault why he ended up spun out in the back. I thought he would chill out. Obviously, he didn’t and rammed me into the fence and ended our day. It is what it is.”
Preece also explained why he ended up in the fence:
“I was trying to run the top. It was real slick. Got loose and both ended up in the fence.”
And when a reporter said that some may have viewed his contact as intentional, Preece responded:
“I don’t race dirt. I don’t know. I tried running the top. I’m the guy that runs the bottom. I know (Larson) was making speed up top. I tried to move up there and we were just too loose.
I still agree that a lot of people are going to stand their ground, but by no means was that intentional. I was just trying to get all that I could.”
Since the first contact happened an hour and half prior to the Preece’s alleged revenge move, Larson was under the impression they had moved on from the confrontation:
“I was a little bit so surprised since it had been so long and like I said, it wasn’t my fault why he was back there… it had been an hour and a half since then, I figured we could be grown ups and get the f*ck over it.”
Larson added that there was nothing really to talk about following the race and that NASCAR shouldn’t step in either.
Here’s the full conversation: