American Racing

NASCAR: Key Takeaways from Larson’s Win at Fontana

Kyle Larson gets the win in a chaotic return to Fontana

Kyle Larson got the win in NASCAR’s return to Auto Club Speedway at Fontana, California. To get there he had to dodge tire troubles, contact with his very own teammate, and stiff competition from an unexpected team. Here are the takeaways from his victory. 

New Tires Bring New Problems

Probably the biggest takeaway from the race aside from the win is the tires. Put it simply, the semi-flat Californian track was not meant for them. 

The new Goodyear Eagles really struggled at the low degree banking of Auto Club Speedway, from flat tires to completely exploding rubber, it all ended with the same outcome: hard hits into the wall. 

Kyle Busch began the havoc spinning at the backstretch with a flat tire. That was followed by Chase Elliott and his flat tire,  next up were Josh Bilicki and Tyler Reddick. The latter was leading the race midway through the second stage and took out William Byron with him.

Not only that, but the new 18 inch wheels caused problems at the pits too. William Byron’s crew almost pulled off a “Bottas” changing a right front tire, fortunately for them, it was the wheel gun that got stripped instead of the lug nut. 

BIttersweet Weekend for Trackhouse Racing

One of the most promising new teams in the sport had a weekend to remember, albeit both for good and bad reasons. 

To begin with, their brand new number 1 car slammed the wall on Saturday’s practice. Ross Chastain was forced into a backup car. Despite running near the top 10, a late spin ended his chances at a good finish.

Daniel Suarez on the other hand ran a very consistent race and fought for the win right until the very end. 

The Mexican driver finished fourth after a wild ending. 

“I Didn’t Know He was There”

That up there was Kyle Larson’s radio message after shoving his teammate, and fellow Cup Series champion, into the wall. Number nine went for a pass on the inside when the Hendrick number five suddenly closed the door on him.

Elliott just took the hit and kept on racing despite using more than one expletive term to describe his ride as it “broke down again” after hitting the wall for the final time. 

While it almost looked like nothing at the race track, this is something to keep an eye on during the following week as it could very well throw some dirty air into what until now is a perfect relationship. 

The Myth of “Parity”

NASCAR has one top goal for their next-gen cars: “Parity”. An equal playing field for everyone involved is almost impossible, even more so in motorsport when everyone strives to crush their competition.

While the concept of parity will remain a myth, for the most part, California played host to a pretty even race. There were nine different teams inside the top 10.

Top 10 represented by manufacturers

Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Petty GMS Motorsports, Trackhouse Racing, Team Penske, Stewart Haas, 23XI, Kauling Racing, and JTG. 

Let’s not kid ourselves, let’s not kid the fans, there will be no parity. Nonetheless, if we can get this sort of finish for most of the “cookie-cutter” tracks, then this season is going to be really fun to watch. 

What’s Next for NASCAR?

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season will be heading to the home of the Busch brothers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Penzoil 400. The action kicks off Sunday at 3:30 E.T on FOX. 

Missed the Daytona 500? Check it out HERE

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Featured Image: Twitter @NASCAR 

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