By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
With less than half a lap away from a fourth consecutive victory for Kyle Larson, disaster struck.
Exiting Turn 2 on the final lap of Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, Larson cut a left-front tire on his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Staying in the throttle, Larson slapped the outside wall in Turn 3, leaving an easy path for teammate Alex Bowman to take victory.
“Just disbelief,” Larson said. “I don’t know. I little bit laughable just because I can’t believe it. I hate that we didn’t get another win. It would have been cool to get five in a row, it just wasn’t meant to be today.”
Crossing the line in ninth, the tire failure ended a race of six straight top-two finishes dating back more than a month in the calendar. Leading 15 of the 130 laps on the day — the first of a doubleheader weekend — Larson knew he had another potential race-winning car underneath him until the tire began to shred.
“I felt something right in the middle of the tunnel [turn],” he said. I wasn’t quite sure what it was yet. And then finally, it shredded halfway through the short-chute and couldn’t turn.”
“I hate that we didn’t get the win but it’s cool for Alex to win. Another Hendrick car with a win. It’s cool to keep Mr. H’s win streak going.
Going to a back-up car for tomorrow’s 140-lapper, Larson has his goals already set.
“We’ll try to start another streak tomorrow,” he said.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 26, 2021