THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Kyle Larson, the fifth-place finisher tonight.
Q. It seemed like throughout the night you were trying to battle very hard to get to that top 5, so how gratifying is it to leave LA getting that accomplished?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, no, it feels good to get to fifth. I didn’t really work my way forward to fifth, it was kind of a battle of attrition.
I was just kind of stuck, which I’m sure a lot of people felt stuck and always wanted to choose the outside on the restarts, but everybody in the middle of the pack figured out that the outside was better at the same time.
Then it just never worked out where I could choose the outside lane and just kind of got stuck in 10th for a while, and yeah, kind of just got slammed from behind forward. Never really passed but one or two cars and came from 14th to fifth.
Q. Last year when the race was in the daytime, obviously this year it was at night, do you feel like as a result of the conditions changing, it brought the intensity level, or is there something else to that intensity?
KYLE LARSON: Was it more intense? I don’t know.
Q. Let me clarify. Compared to the conditions, was it more treacherous because it was night or not necessarily?
KYLE LARSON: I don’t think it really made a difference. The track surface felt a little grippier than I thought it would be at nighttime. I don’t know, there was just a lot more slamming around this time, and I think — I was telling my PR people on the way down, last year was the first race for this car and we didn’t know how tough they were at the time. There was not as much slamming. I think people didn’t quite know how strong the noses and rear bumpers were.
This year it was just like everybody just ran through the person in front of them. If you got a hole to get down, somewhere to get down, then the three or four cars behind would just shove them through the two in front of them. A lot of accordion, and just difficult on the restarts, especially where I was, middle of the pack.
Q. Some of that slamming you were talking about, some of the other guys have said that the hits still feel the same as they did last year. I don’t know what your thoughts are on any hits you took tonight.
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, definitely. I didn’t really — I only had like one moment last year that I remember where it was like, wow, like that was a hard hit.
I think we stacked up on a restart at like Sonoma or something, and this was like every restart you would check up with the guy in front of you and just get clobbered from behind and your head whipping around and slamming off the back of the seat.
I don’t have a headache, but I could see how if others do, it’s no surprise because it was very violent for the majority of the race. We had so many restarts, and like I said, every restart you’re getting just clobbered and then you’re clobbering the guy in front of you. You feel it a lot.
Q. I know you were critical of the wall riding when that happened, but what was going on out there tonight, is that racing? Are you critical of that at all, or do you think that’s good short track racing?
KYLE LARSON: I don’t know. I mean, just a product of this track and this car. I don’t think you would see that style of racing with the previous generation car just because they wouldn’t be as strong. You’d knock the radiators out racing like that.
I think the cars are just so stiff that that’s just kind of how it goes. Not saying it’s right, but the cars are built that way. Yeah, I don’t really know how to answer it other than that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Kyle. Appreciate the time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports