For the second day in a row, Kyle Larson came up short of a win.
In Saturday’s Xfinity race Larson led a race high 31 laps only to see victory snatched away by Ty Gibbs in the closing laps.
Sunday, like most of the field, he never really got close.
Larson started third, but never led a lap. For much of the race it was all about his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott who led from pole and led a race high 36 laps. Tyler Reddick would eventually catch Elliott and pass him for his first Cup career win. In the closing laps both drivers checked out. Larson finished third 21 seconds behind.
It left Larson wondering what he could have done to get closer to the front throughout the race.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “Tyler and Chase were really good throughout the duration of a run. I seemed to be okay early and then would kind of just slowly fade away from them. You know, I don’t really know. I felt honestly pretty good, but they must have just had better grip.
“They were really good road racers. Honestly probably a little bit better than I am.”
Nonetheless Larson was satisfied with third on the series third road course of the season. He finished 29th at COTA, and 15th at Sonoma after starting from pole.
“It was a good clean race for us, happy to get a top 3,” he said. “Yeah, it was successful for my standards.”
He was also happy to see a fellow Californian win his first race.
“It’s special for the northern California fans out there,” he said. “Tyler and I grew up racing together on the West Coast, and I know Lowell and Becky Morale will be proud. Really neat and hats off to him and their team.”