- Kyle Larson was Chevrolet’s highest-finishing Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) ending the day with a third-place finish.
- The run marked Larson’s third top 10 finish in five races at LVMS
- Team Chevy ended the 267-lap Pennzoil 400 at LVMS with five drivers in the top-15. Following Larson were, Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 – 11th; Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Camaro ZL1 – 12th; Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Camaro ZL1 – 13th; and Chris Buescher, No. 37 Natural Light Camaro ZL1.
POST RACE PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 3rd
THE MODERATOR: Now we are joined by the driver of the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, third‑place finisher Kyle Larson. Kyle, this is your second consecutive top‑three finish at Las Vegas, another good one following up a win yesterday. Maybe talk about the race out there, please.
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, it was a good race for us, finished third, I think, in both stages and third in the race. You know, solid day. Had to fight pretty hard there a few times throughout the race just from losing a lot of track position on the pit stops and stuff. I don’t honestly know what was going on yet with the pit stops, but we’ll watch some tape, and if it was something I was doing wrong, we’ll fix that up.
But yeah, it was a good day. Our Credit One Bank Chevy was fast. Nowhere near Harvick’s level, but I felt like for most of the day we were second or third best, so happy about that, and yeah, you know, with coming back later in the year for a playoff race, it’s nice to know that you’ve been fast here now the last two years and hopefully can continue that.
Q. When a guy is as much faster as Kevin was today, do you reach a point during the race when you’re sort of resigned to, hey, I’m probably racing for second unless he blows up or something happens? Does it get that bad when a guy is this fast?
KYLE LARSON: No, I don’t think ever in a NASCAR race you can think that because it seems like so often a caution will come out with less than 10 to go, and you have to come down pit road, and that can change the race. I wanted to keep myself as high up as I could to just give myself a shot on pit road or something like that or for a late‑race restart. You never know what can happen at any point throughout a Cup race, but especially there at the end. Everybody gets so aggressive.
Yeah, I mean, if you know it’s going to go green the whole time, then yeah, you’re like, okay, I’m racing for second or third right here. But yeah, like I said, you can never count yourself out in a Cup race.
Q. The Hendrick guys seemed to talk about trying to learn this new body. You’re running well; do you feel like you have it pretty much handled or do you feel like you see a lot of improvement as far as what you guys can do with the new body?
KYLE LARSON: I don’t know, I mean, yeah. For whatever reason it definitely seems like the other ‑‑ I wouldn’t even say the other Chevy teams because RCR I feel like is running about as good as they did at this point last year, but Hendrick for some reason, they seem to be off. It was kind of odd to lap three out of the four cars there in the first little part of the race. But our team, I guess ‑‑ I don’t know, whatever we do different helps us out. All we really get from Hendrick is their engines, so they could be doing stuff way different than us.
But yeah, you know, I feel like at this point in the season, I feel like we’re probably actually a little bit better than we were last year. I say that, but Atlanta I felt like maybe we ran one or two spots worse than we did all day, and then here I felt like we ran probably three or four spots better than we did all day last year.
If we are better, it’s barely anything. But it’s good that we’re not any worse than we were last year.
Q. You ran the race yesterday, obviously, and today ‑‑ yesterday it seemed a little bit more racy, a little bit less track position. Is there something about the Cup cars that it’s just a little bit more difficult here?
KYLE LARSON: Well, I just think there’s better drivers with more experience in the Cup Series. In all of our cars maybe stuck to the track a little bit better. But I just think when you have a field full of Cup drivers who have so much experience, they kind of know where they need to be each lap of the race, really, and really good at feedback. So, everybody is always getting their cars better throughout the race.
So, I think that’s why sometimes you can see less passing. If you compare trucks to Xfinity, I mean, there’s better racing in trucks than Xfinity because there’s ‑‑ well, that, and there’s just a lot of less experienced guys that are wild.
But it just ‑‑ yeah, I mean, I think the more you go up the ladder, you have more experienced guys that know what to do with their car and where to position themselves.
Team Chevy PR/Photo Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images