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Larson led 200 laps in the Food City 500. (Photo: Getty Images)

Larson Just Short at Bristol

Kyle Larson led the most laps in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but was forced to settle for a second-place finish.

Larson was out front for 200 laps in what turned out to be a two-day event thanks to rain forcing NASCAR to shift the conclusion of the race until Monday. He had the lead until Kyle Busch made contact with his rear bumper in the closing laps and all Larson could do is come home with a runner-up performance.

“The No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 was really, really good on that long run,” said Larson, who also had to recover from an earlier spin after contact from Ryan Newman. “And yeah, as soon as we restarted there, I was extremely loose. The No. 17 (Ricky Stenhouse) got to my inside. I just really didn’t have any grip. I thought it would tighten-up for me and I could get going, but it never really did and I was just really loose. I hate that I didn’t win. It’s another one at Bristol. I feel like every time I race here I almost get a win. It was a fun race. I’ve been beat by Kyle (Busch) about every time I race here, too; so that gets frustrating after a while.”

Even after Busch bumped him out of the way, Larson did his best to try and get to his rear bumper and return the favor. But he wasn’t able to navigate his way through the slower traffic to put himself in position to make a move.

“I knew it would be hard to get back to him,” Larson said. “I knew I would need a lapper to kind of hold him up on exit and kill his momentum to allow me to maybe get back to his bumper, but there just weren’t a whole lot of cars left out there.”

It was his fifth top-10 finish in nine races at Bristol and fourth top-10 finish of the 2018 season.