Last weekend Kyle Larson had a very interesting day in the No. 42 machine. After a wreck in the early laps of the race caused him to lose most of the rear of his car, he went onto rebound only to be caught speeding on pit road in the closing laps of the race. Larson would then rebound from that and wind up with a top-10 finish. While Larson was in the midst of passing a lot of cars at Michigan, he was also upsetting some drivers.
After the checkered flag waved at Michigan Tony Stewart wasn’t very happy with Larson. When asked to sum up his day and his 11th place finish Stewart was quick to talk about Larson and an incident that took place on a restart.
We got the nose damage when the 42 (Larson) got impatient there and blocked us.
Following the race Larson himself didn’t provide much insight in regards to the issue that Stewart had with him. Following the race last Sunday Larson summed the situation up by saying that it was “Tony being Tony.” On Thursday Larson was a bit more open on the subject.
On the restart he lined up behind me and I was mirror driving and saw him go to the right so I went to right, felt him hit me and thought, ‘Tony’s going to be pissed,’ so I pulled up top, let him by and drove around him a couple corners later. When the (next) caution came out, I knew what was going to happen and I knew he was going to pull next to me and show me he wasn’t happy
In sprint car racing, blocking is a little more normal so I don’t know if he gets as angry in that as he does with blocking in stock cars. Anyway, a guy like Tony Stewart probably respects you more if you don’t back down. Coming to a place like Sonoma, I’m sure we’ll be around each other and we’ll see what happens. But I don’t feel like I’ve done anything dirty so I’m not going to do anything to make the situation worse and I hope he doesn’t.
For those of you that are wondering, Stewart showed Larson that he wasn’t happy during that next caution by using some sign language in the form of his middle finger. While Stewart was clearly heated in the moment and following the race, Larson ultimately didn’t do anything wrong in this situation. Sure he could have given Stewart the line but in the end it wasn’t a dirty move. Given the professional that Stewart is and the fact that Larson is a rookie; I’d be surprised if there was any fallout from this at Sonoma this weekend.
Larson and Stewart will both be looking for their first wins of the 2014 season this Sunday at Sonoma. Both drivers are in a position where a win will put them into the chase in all likelihood. If the chase were to begin today Larson would be in due to his position in the point standings. Stewart on the other hand has some work to do as he would not make the chase given his current point position.