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Ryan Blaney says his clash with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson that caused him to crash out in the NASCAR Cup series race at Kansas was “definitely my fault”.
Blaney and Larson had been contenders for victory late on at Kansas, with Larson having led 101 laps before the final 20 tours.
Eventual winner Kevin Harvick had passed Larson for the lead in his Stewart-Haas Racing-run Ford and Blaney attempted to exploit the loss of momentum to side draft Larson.
NASCAR Cup Kansas highlights
But Blaney made contact with the Ganassi driver and was sent into the wall with a flat right-front tyre.
He admitted he was “trying too hard” to force the issue, after winning the first stage and leading 54 laps.
“It was hard racing,” said Blaney, who was classified 37th. “I definitely take the blame on that one.
“I was just trying to side draft hard and the car was kind of light down the front-stretch.
“I about spun out in [Turn] 1 and 2 on the restart, getting sucked around. We were making some spots back up and just trying to get back up to the front and I tried too hard.
“I thought we made a good gain tonight [to] where our cars need to be.
Hopefully, we can carry that forward into the upcoming weeks, but it was definitely my fault just trying too hard.
“I hate I got the #42 [Larson], but it was just hard racing.”
Larson felt he was a match for Harvick before Blaney’s intervention.
“I thought we were going to have a really good shot to win there,” said Larson, who recovered to finish fourth.
“Kevin [Harvick] was able to get to my outside and then was tight in traffic there.
“Blaney was side drafting really hard. I was as high as I could get. We made contact, whatever, and we had a bunch of damage.
“I hate that we didn’t turn [it] into a win, but it’s satisfying to see how much speed our car had.”