“That was probably the longest flip I’ve ever had... I just didn’t know if it’d ever stop.”
I think everyone who watched Kyle Larson’s wild ride on Sunday wondered if it would stop, too. Larson’s car went airborne and flipped multiple times after another car made contact on the racetrack. NASCAR is investigating the incident, but early speculation suggests damage to his car may have played a part in the car going airborne. One thing is for sure, the fact that Larson walked away uninjured is a testament to how incredible the safety improvements have been within the sport since the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
“Well, initially I just thought I was going to hit the inside wall pretty hard,” said Larson. “And then, right before I got to it, I felt it lift and was just hoping it would set down. Then it just started tumbling.”
Chase Elliott won the race under caution after David Ragan hit William Byron, who then hit Larson, who slid across the track and barrel-rolled down the backstretch.
The win was huge for Elliott. It was his first of the season, his team’s first of the season and also Chevrolet’s first win of the season. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman finished second.
The crowd went wild for Elliott, who may just be Talladega Superspeedway’s newest favorite. I know I would’ve loved to have been in attendance for this big win!
“I just appreciate all the support. It’s unbelievable,” Elliott said. “This is a special one. This is close to home for me, so it feels like a home race.”
The cars were fast, y’all.
NASCAR mandated the addition of a one-inch wicker to the rear spoiler in an attempt to reduce speeds after 21 cars averaged 200 mph or more during practice. I haven’t seen the speeds during the race, but I’ve read they were faster than they’ve been in a long time.
Overall, there were 38 lead changes — the most since 2014. It was mostly wreck-free until the end, as well. Some dub this race one of the best Talladega races in years.
Rookie Ryan Preece finished third, Joey Logano finished fourth and rookie Daniel Hemric finished fifth. Kurt Busch finished sixth, Ryan Newman seventh, Brendan Gaughan eighth, Aric Almirola ninth and Kyle Busch rounded out the Top 10.
The Cup is headed to Dover this weekend, where Elliott may shine again. He is the most recent winner at the track and has an average finish of 4.3.
Live coverage from the “Monster Mile” begins Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX.