As the laps ticked down in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kyle Larson looked to have his second career Sprint Cup win locked up.
Larson led 132 laps but on the final restart, after a caution came out for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.’s wreck, Jimmie Johnson stormed past him to win the race and his historic seventh championship.
In his post-race interview, Larson wasn’t pleased with the way that final restarts were handled.
“Well, you are supposed to be side-by-side entering the box and (Jimmie Johnson) was all the way behind me,” Larson said. “So not really anything I could do to maintain his distance behind me. But its whatever, I am happy for him.”
Johnson hung back on the final restart to prevent his fellow championship contender Joey Logano from getting the jump on him. Logano’s bump propelled Johnson past Larson for the victory.
The finish marked Larson’s third runner-up performance in 2016 and the sixth of his three-year NASCAR career.
Larson finished ninth in the points standings after making the Chase for the first time in his career. He also recorded his first career win at Michigan in his 99th start in NASCAR’s Premier Series.
The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet posted several tweets about the season finale, first echoing his disappointment in the result and then thanking his team and looking forward to 2017.