Kyle Larson got his first look at his spectacular barrel roll at Talladega and felt like the star of a summer blockbuster.
“It makes me look like I’m really tough,” Larson said, smiling.
Larson was grateful to walk away unscathed last weekend from his dangerous crash on perhaps the diciest track in NASCAR. His No. 42 Chevrolet took flight seemingly by itself after he’d been hit and spun through traffic, and once it was off its wheels, the Chevrolet rolled at least a half-dozen times.
William Byron and David Ragan collided and triggered the wreck as Larson flipped on the chaotic final lap .
“Normally when you see cars take off, they’re more sideways or going backward almost,” Larson said. “Mine was hardly sideways at all. I don’t know why it lifted off like that. Just thankful that the chassis and all my safety equipment held up good.”
NASCAR chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell reached out to Larson to talk about what happened. Chip Ganassi Racing took the car after the race, but it was available to NASCAR engineers eager to study what caused the spectacular roll.
“For it to hold up as well as it did was pretty amazing,” Larson said Friday at Dover International Speedway.
Larson was not injured, a testament to NASCAR’s safety improvements, and even returned to play golf in a Pro-Am with other NASCAR drivers before a PGA tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. He eventually took a look at the wreck through the view of the in-car video.
“It’s pretty crazy how much everything stretches. My seatbelts, my harness. Everything stretches in an impact like that. I stretched far enough where my head hit the steering wheel a little bit. With each tumble, just the jolts that my body went through, it was pretty crazy to see.”