NASCAR: Kyle Larson may have found a new rival

Kyle Larson has had great success in the 2021 NASCAR Cup series season, but like anybody who has success, he has picked up a few haters along the way.

Kyle Larson continued his dominance of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season by picking up his fifth win of the year at Watkins Glen International this past Sunday.

The win was probably Larson’s most surprising win of the year, but not because of his capability. The surprise factor was that the winner wasn’t named Chase Elliott, Larson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports who had won the last two races at the track.

Elliott had to start from last after failing pre-race inspection, and he flat-spotted his tires early in the race. He still came from the back to finish in second place.

But it was Larson who took the checkered flag and tied Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in the point standings. It was an all-around successful day for the driver of the #5 Chevrolet, but in most cases of success, there are “sour grapes” on offer in return.

It was neither Elliott nor Hamlin who was upset, but Hamlin’s teammate: Christopher Bell.

The cars of Larson and Bell collided in turn one, and that contact resulted in Bell spinning out. With Larson winning, this obviously didn’t affect him much.

But Bell lost ground and had to settle for seventh place. Both drivers shared their sides of the incident afterward.

Larson apologized to Bell in his post-race interview, but Bell used his interview to say how the incident with Larson was “extremely frustrating” and added that he “had an opportunity taken away.”

From there, Larson went on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to mention that he tried to reach out to Bell about the incident, but to no avail.

Larson added that if “If it makes him sleep better at night to ignore me and want to crash me or whatever, so be it.” He also noted that “any adult in the field would at least have a conversation”.

Interestingly, these two drivers have had a history together as well. Earlier in the season, they collided in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But the score seems unsettled after this latest incident, and a rivalry between the two playoff-bound drivers could be in the making.