Larson Leads Chevrolet with Top-Five Finish at North Wilkesboro

NKP #17: Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal Ford Mustang, #5: Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro


Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1

Finished: 4th

That last run, you came out of nowhere. Cliff (Daniels) said he pumped the tire pressures up, but ultimately did it just fall off? 

“Yeah, I thought we were in great position there. Got to fourth pretty quickly; got to third pretty quickly. I thought I could just be patient. I built really loose for a little while, and then they started kind of inching away from me. I moved up and I was kind of hanging on from there. I was surprised that the guys that didn’t pit were as strong as they were. I thought we were going to be in the best position there to win. 

Hats off to the No. 5 Chevy team. I know they had a lot of work this week; having Kevin (Harvick) practice, swap seats and everything back to where I could drive it. Proud to go back and forth and have a shot to win.”

What does it mean to be top-five in Indianapolis?

“Oh, it’s awesome! It just makes it all mean something more. To be lined up on the second row of the Indianapolis 500 is pretty crazy. Yeah, I just can’t believe it, really. I thought if we could make the Fast 12, that would be exceeding expectations. To qualify as well as we did yesterday and then get into the Fast Six today was unbelievable. Happy with how it’s gone so far there, and now I look forward to hopefully get better in race trim.”

Tonight in the last stage, did going down low so much just eventually burn the tires up? 

“Yeah, honestly, I felt like I could take care of my tires better down low. I was worried about building tight all race and whenever I would move up top, you’re just kind of tugging on the wheel more and you’re on the throttle. So I feel like that actually uses the tires more. I thought I was doing what I needed to maintain the balance of my car, but I think we just pumped the air up a lot and I just built really free, really quickly, on that run. And then I moved up and I just slowly got tight after that. I thought we were in a great position to win. I thought for sure we would win, but just didn’t work out. We’ll do our homework and try to get our car better for next year.”

How effective are the new tires?

“I think they were effective to get me there.. probably for 10 laps. But then after that, I just don’t think our car balance was there. Say Denny (Hamlin) pitted, I think his car was much better than ours. Had he pitted, he probably would have, or could have in my opinion, won. But we just didn’t have the speed that those guys did all race.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger Health / Icy Hot Camaro ZL1

Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident in Stage One. 

Finished: 20th 

Take us through the initial contact that you had with Kyle Busch.

“We had a really good start. He left the door wide open. I went through the middle and I almost had him cleared. The No. 34 (Michael McDowell) kind of ran up the track, and we all just kind of touched there.. nothing major. And then Kyle (Busch) tried to wreck me in (turns) three and four, and finally did wreck me there in one and two. Our No. 47 Kroger Healthy / Icy Hot Chevy was really fast. I felt really good. We were good in practice. We had already passed two or three cars there, so bummed we couldn’t see it through to the end.”


Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1

NASCAR All-Star Open Race

Finished: 6th 

How disappointing is to not advance into the NASCAR All-Star Race? 

“Yeah, for sure. It’s not what we wanted for Hendrick Motorsports, Ally and everyone on this No. 48 Chevy team. Honestly, we just kind of missed it a little bit. We were really tight on Friday and just jumped the fence a little bit today where we were too free. I felt like if I could clear the No. 23 (Bubba Wallace), get up and take care of my stuff, I’d be OK. I just heated up my right rear tire trying to get clear of him. When I finally couldn’t clear him, I was in a lot of trouble there for a little bit until I got pulled back down. 

Bummer, for sure, but it’s a great event and a great racetrack. We were running the fence in (turns) one and two. You could run all the way across the racetrack. It was super fun. Wish we could have made it, but we’ll learn from it. I think we were all really tight in practice and we jumped the fence a little bit there and got too free. So hopefully we’ll have really good notes for our teammates for the All-Star Race, and we’ll be cheering them on.” 

Austin Dillon, No. 3 SENIX Camaro ZL1

NASCAR All-Star Open Race

Finished: 9th 

“We gave it all we had. Our No. 3 SENIX Chevy was really fast. We had the fastest lap in qualifying. Unfortunately, we had to start back in 15th. We made our way forward into the top-10 with 50 laps to go. We decided to put yellow’s (tires) on, and everyone in front of us took red’s. We were hoping that because of that, they would fade, but it just didn’t happen fast enough. We were making a pretty good charge there at the end, but there just wasn’t enough time and lost too much ground on the hard tires on the takeoff. Would have liked to have seen what happened with red’s because they got to beating and banging up front, but unfortunately we don’t get another shot at it. 

We’ll take this to the short tracks coming up. I think this is a big win for RCR and our short track program, so hopefully we can take what we learned; apply it and have some better runs moving forward.”

Inside Track Communications PR

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