As the Sprint Cup Series takes a brief break between qualifying and practices for the Budweiser Duels and Daytona 500, Monday and Tuesday are opportunities for drivers from NASCAR's regional and touring series to take to Daytona.
On Monday night, it was the NASCAR All-American Late Model Series and Kyle Larson spun CE Falk for the win as the two headed towards the checkered flag on the 0.4 mile temporary oval on the Daytona backstretch.
The evening's crashfest finally got an extended green-flag run at the end of the race, and Larson rumpled up his front bumper significantly while racing with Ben Rhodes for second place. At first, when Larson got around Rhodes, it looked like the damage on the front end of his car would be too significant to reel in Falk, but over the next laps, Larson did just that, setting up a great 10 lap battle between the two.
Over those 10 laps, the contact that Larson and Falk had made was nothing more than customary short-track late-lap fender rubbing. But on the final lap, Larson gave Falk a shove in turns 3 and 4 and then gave him another, harder one coming out of the corner and sent Falk's car spinning to the inside.
“It's the first race I've ever won in that manner, but this was a pretty big race,” Larson said. “I wanted to win it. It's the last lap. You have to slow down so much in the center of the corner, I got run on him and got into the back of him. I got underneath him and then got him around. I feel bad for him, but like I said, I wanted to win.”
Larson is driving full-time in the Nationwide Series this season and Tony Stewart guaranteed he will be a star at last week's NASCAR media days. And his performance chasing down Falk with a battered car was evidence in favor of Stewart's guarantee. But that move to spin Falk on the final lap? Well, it's hard to defend that. It's one thing to make contact with a driver in the corner in an attempt to move him out of the way. It's another to smack him coming off the corner like that to really get him out of the way.
Do you have an issue with what Larson did last night? Fair game or a low-blow? Drop us a line in the comments.
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