That was fast.
After winning Stage 1 at Phoenix, Kyle Larson was forced to pit road and then to the garage after his No. 42 experienced engine problems. He told NBC that his day is done.
It’s the fourth-straight DNF for Larson.
Larson — who’s not in the playoff — took the first stage with a late surge, holding off Denny Hamlin led most of the way and was battling his rival, Chase Elliott.
The pair battled for position throughout the first stage, with Elliott, at one point, in the lead and then right on Hamlin’s bumper. But any thoughts of retaliation for their clash at Martinsville never came to pass since Elliott has to win the race in order to move on to the championship four.
For those who have forgotten, Elliott was leading the First Data 500 with three laps to go when Hamlin’s car made contact with the rear bumper of Elliott’s No. 24 Chevy in turn 3, causing Elliott’s car to spin out.
After the race, Hamlin said, “I’m not trying to say I wrecked him on purpose. I tried to move him out of the way and (Elliott) spun out. Hamlin even apologized, but Elliott’s team held out the possibility that he may retaliate at some point.
Hamlin finished second and Elliott, third.