Kyle Larson comes up short, again

HAMPTON, GA - FEBRUARY 24: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald's Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24, 2019 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Throughout much of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson had the car to beat.

Larson too the green/checkered flag to win the race’s first stage. He led a race-high 142 of 325 laps and battled Kevin Harvick for the top spot throughout the second stage before trailing Harvick to the finish line.

But Larson was guilty of speeding on pit road under caution on Lap 224. Sent to the back for the subsequent restart on Lap 228, Larson struggled in traffic with the new 2019 higher-downforce, lower-horsepower competition package and could only climb to 12th in the running order before the laps counted down.

“Yeah, I had a good day going until I sped,” Larson said. “My car handled really good, and then once I got where I had to restart in the back, I was just really tight.

“Yeah, I mean, clean air is even more important nowadays than in the past I think, at least at a track like this. That was a little disappointing, but more just upset at myself for making a big mistake like that.”