By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports activities NASCAR Author
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are Hendrick Motorsports teammates, however when racing for the win, it’s troublesome to behave like teammates.
And so they most likely don’t really feel like teammates following their tangle Sunday at Watkins Glen Worldwide.
Larson muscled his well past Elliott by washing into him and forcing him to overlook the nook on a restart with 5 laps remaining, then held off AJ Allmendinger for the victory. The win was Larson’s first since late February, when he additionally tangled together with his teammate.
“I’m not pleased with it,” Larson mentioned of the transfer. “I don’t like to try this. However in that second, that was my solely shot to win. I haven’t gained rather a lot this 12 months. … I felt like I did what I needed to do to learn our playoffs.”
Larson holds off Allmendinger to win at Watkins Glen
Kyle Larson holds off AJ Allmendinger after tangling with Chase Elliott within the ultimate laps to win at Watkins Glen and earn his second victory of the season.
On the lookout for extra NASCAR content material? Join the FOX Sports activities NASCAR Publication with Bob Pockrass!
Listed here are three takeaways from Watkins Glen heading into the ultimate race of the common season subsequent week at Daytona.
Elliott pissed off
Elliott saved his feedback respectful towards his teammate following the race, however his frustration was evident. He talked to staff proprietor Rick Hendrick after the race, which might have been his fifth win of the season.
It was a battle of champions: Elliott gained the 2020 Cup title, and Larson gained it final 12 months.
“I simply received beat,” Elliott mentioned. “Congrats to Kyle. … I attempted. It doesn’t matter. I failed and misplaced the occasion.”
Elliott did clinch the regular-season championship, which is value 15 playoff factors — or the equal of three wins. Second place within the standings is value 10 playoff factors.
In two weeks, Elliott will enter the playoffs atop the standings, possible with an fringe of 10-to-20 factors on the competitors.
“Fifteen factors,” Elliott mentioned when requested what it meant. “It will get us to 40 [on the year]. In order that’s good.”
Group President Jeff Andrews mentioned he had no points with Elliott’s response.
“I’ve no problem in any respect that Chase is upset proper now,” Andrews mentioned. “I believe that is completely regular on this state of affairs. We’ll discuss it this week. We’ll discuss it the week after.”
“It will be motivation for him.”
Larson mentioned he would count on Elliott to be sad but in addition mentioned Elliott set himself as much as be a sufferer of such a transfer by lining up on the skin.
“I might understandably be upset in his place as nicely,” Larson mentioned. “However I might additionally perceive the chance that I absorb selecting the left lane.
“Regardless that that it’s most popular, there’s a danger of that man on the suitable facet, if he will get launch, he’s going to make use of you up on the exit in Flip 1.”
The 2 drivers possible will discover themselves in an identical state of affairs once more.
“We’re going to be round one another rather a lot, whether or not it’s on the store or the monitor or on the racetrack, so it will likely be simply one other factor we’ve to work by,” Larson mentioned.
Kurt Busch nonetheless out however in playoffs
With 15 winners and one race left within the common season, all drivers who’ve gained this 12 months have clinched a spot within the playoffs. Solely a kind of hadn’t clinched earlier than Sunday, and that was Busch, who missed his fifth consecutive race following a mind damage suffered in a crash at Pocono.
Busch may even miss Daytona however is locked in as a result of he gained a race and can end within the high 30 in factors.
Ryan Blaney at present holds a 25-point edge on Martin Truex Jr. for the ultimate playoff spot. Certainly one of them will make the postseason if there is not a brand new winner at Daytona.
These drivers would clinch a playoff spot with a win at Daytona: Blaney, Truex, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace, Chris Buescher, Justin Haley, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Harrison Burton, Ty Dillon and Todd Gilliland.
Kimi Raikkonen on his NASCAR Cup debut
Former Method 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen discusses what occurred in his accident at Watkins Glen and what he loved about his first NASCAR Cup Collection weekend.
Whereas the main target of the Glen was on the playoffs, it additionally marked the Cup debut of former Method 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen exited after a crash on Lap 45 and completed thirty seventh after a powerful run.
“We had some good laps,” mentioned Raikkonen, who drove for Trackhouse Racing. “It’s a disgrace. The automotive felt prefer it had lots of velocity, however that’s the way it goes generally.”
Bob Pockrass has spent many years protecting motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports activities in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting Information, NASCAR Scene journal and The (Daytona Seaside) Information-Journal. Comply with him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. On the lookout for extra NASCAR content material? Join the FOX Sports activities NASCAR Publication with Bob Pockrass!
Get extra from NASCAR Cup Collection Comply with your favorites to get details about video games, information and extra.