TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY -- Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing, secured one of the eight spots available for the next round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup chase with his win at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
Larson talked briefly about practice and Sunday’s race at TSS, the 1000Bulbs.com 500, but the majority of the time he spent discussing Talladega was spent more on the wreck he had during the spring race.
“I came off (Turn) 2, and I think William (Byron) or somebody got sideways and got into me,” he said of the accident that flipped his car upside-down in April. “I was just preparing myself to hit the wall head-on, which I’ve done that a lot.
“I was just trying to brace myself and hope that it doesn’t hurt. All of a sudden, I started feeling my car kind of come up, so I was hoping that it would get down before it hit the wall.
“Then, I don’t know. You’re just sliding and flipping. I knew I was close to the inside wall, close to the fence and all that, so I was hoping that I wouldn’t flip into the fence because who knows what could have happened after that.”
Prior to the accident, Larson and his Chevrolet colleagues were performing well during the GEICO 500. The end result reflected the success of the brand as six of the top eight drivers that day were behind the wheels of Chevrolets.
After the first Daytona race of the season, NASCAR officials changed two rules for cars. The size of the spoiler was increased from 8 inches to 9 inches, and a 1-inch bolt was added to the track bar mount to change the height to 12 inches. The changes were made to decrease the speed of the vehicles.
“We’ve got to race Daytona also with this package, so I think we all understand it a little bit more than the first time around earlier this season,” he said.
“The closing rates are definitely a lot higher, and it seems the cars are handling a little bit better than our old package. That’s why you see much more aggressive style plate racing -- well, I guess this isn’t plate racing anymore, but it’s just aggressive.”
With Larson’s postseason fate sealed regardless of the outcomes at Talladega on Sunday and Kansas Speedway next week, his attention seemed to shift to the three races in the Round of 8 -- particularly The First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
He said he was reluctant to use a simulator to prepare for the road course race Oct. 27.
“Honestly, I’ve tried the simulator stuff before, and for me, it just messes me up more than anything for that place because the brakes don’t feel as similar as they do to my real car,” Larson said. “I don’t know what else to do to get better. I look at more data leading up to that race than I do at any other track. That track, I try really hard to do better at, and I haven’t gotten any better … I’m sure each time, we try to go there with a different setup, and hopefully, this time, we’ll hit on something.”