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September 12, 2023

Chase Elliott on ‘non-issue’ with Kyle Larson: ‘There’s nothing to talk about’

After a tense run-in with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson late in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Kansas Speedway, No. 9 Chevrolet driver Chase Elliott offered his thoughts on the incident, taking the onus on himself and downplaying any drama.

“There’s a lot that goes on. We obviously ran into each other on pit road and I didn’t have the full picture of what went on, so I was frustrated,” Elliott told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday. “That stuff happens, for sure. But at the end of the day, I’ll certainly take the blame for my frustration on that front. The good news is he and I can have a conversation like adults and it’s a non-issue. The bad news is, it’s (not) a non-issue for all of y’all and everybody that wants to talk about it. There’s nothing to talk about.”

On a late round of pit stops, Larson swerved to avoid Brad Keselowski, exiting his stall, on pit road. Larson incidentally made contact with Elliott as a result of the maneuver, with the No. 9 obscured from seeing the reason Larson’s No. 5 veered suddenly. With Tyler Reddick’s No. 45 to his outside, Elliott was unable to swerve and avoid contact with the No. 5. Elliott then retaliated and swerved into Larson’s car on the apron of the track.

The pair talked on pit road after the race.

“From my vantage point, I knew we were three-wide while we were leaving. And I knew – well, I didn’t know – but the (No.) 6 is pitted in front of us, and I was just trying to leave as much space as I can,” Larson told NBC Sports after the race. “He’s coming out of the lane because the 6 is trying to slow us down. I tried to leave as much space as I could. Obviously, I made contact with (Elliott), but I felt like if I didn’t, I was going to clobber the 6 right in the right front. I thought the safest bet for all of us was for me to squeeze out a little bit.”

“I understand why he’s mad or was mad in the moment,” said Larson. “I hope when he sees the replay, he understands I didn’t have the space or not much. It was just inches.”

The Round of 16 concludes Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway (6:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App).