Second Again for Larson
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 9, 2017 | 6:36 P.M. EST
Larson came from the 32nd starting position to score his fifth top-two finish in the last six races of 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver finished second behind race winner Jimmie Johnson on Sunday and has now been in the first two finishing positions in five of the season’s first seven races.
“They're all kind of easy to swallow, just because we have a lot of speed in our cars right now,” Larson said of being disappointed with yet another runner-up finish to go with his Auto Club Speedway win last month. “You know, seconds don't suck that bad. Yeah, you know, I'd like to have five wins right now, but four seconds and a win isn't terrible.”
Larson did his best to run down Johnson in the closing laps. He had to battle Joey Logano for second place for several trips around the 1.5-mile track but once he did he closed the gap on Johnson significantly.
Unfortunately, Larson ran out of time to get by Johnson for the top spot and settled for second when the checkered flag flew.
“Yeah, I think if I could have got by Joey with maybe five to go, I think I could have I definitely would have caught Jimmie,” said Larson, who also had to overcome a penalty for driving through too many pit boxes during an early stop. “Passing him is obviously another story. But I would have at least had a couple opportunities to get behind him and work there behind him and try and get by.
“Wish I would have got him by a little sooner, but all in all a great day for our Credit One Bank Chevy team. I made a mistake there on the first pit stop and clipped too many boxes. I turned in way early. I probably clipped a couple before the 11 (Denny Hamlin) box. But yeah, I was disappointed in myself then because I feel like our car was really, really good the beginning part of the race and probably could have drove up to the lead and maybe controlled the race from then on. So, you never know.”
Larson maintained the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lead by 17 over Chase Elliott as the series heads into the Easter off weekend before returning to action at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Yeah, it's fun,” Larson said. “It's fun right now, and hopefully keep it going. I don't know what it takes to improve because I just drive the cars, but yeah, we're going to Bristol, which is a track that I run really, really good at, so I'm excited about that, and hopefully can find some good luck there finally.”