At some points of this season, Kyle Larson has been the hottest driver in NASCAR’s top circuit.
On Sunday, he was on fire – for real.
With five laps left in the Brickyard 400, the Elk Grove native tried to move up the track but the back of his No. 42 Chevrolet made contact with the front of Ty Dillon’s car, sending Larson into the wall. The car caught fire but Larson walked away from the wreck.
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“I had nowhere to go,” Larson told NBC Sports. “Pretty aggressive, dirty blocking, saw people blocking pretty aggressively. But oh well, I was there the whole time but it’s just Indy.”
Earlier in the race, Larson had to fight to get past Jimmie Johnson, who tried to block him.
According to a report from NASCAR.com, Larson could be heard over his radio in reference to the seven-time series champion: “No. 48 can’t handle it.”
Despite it all, Larson congratulated Kasey Kahne, who won at Indianapolis to end a three-year victory drought. NASCAR.com says Kahne’s skid was 102 races.
Larson finished 28th. With 732 points in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, he trails just Martin Truex Jr., who has 780. Truex’s car also caught on fire Sunday.
While it was a rough finish for Larson, another racer from the region had his best day of the season. Grass Valley’s Matt DiBenedetto was eighth for just his second top-10 finish of the season. He finished ninth in the season-opening Daytona 500.