The 4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway took a major turn when the dominant car of the day, Kyle Larson, tried to enter pit road with Ryan Blaney. Well, Blaney came in much slower than Larson, and Larson hit the sand barrels trying to avoid Blaney. Many fans began debating who was at fault between the two, was it Blaney, or was it Larson?
When looking at this incident in real-time, it seems like Larson overshot the pit road entry and just turned right to avoid Blaney. However, slowing it down tells a slightly different story. Blaney slowed down to about 46 MPH, which is below the 49.99 MPH tolerance to meet pit road speed.
Now, some would argue then that Blaney may have over-slowed heading into pit road. Then again, the NBC telemetry shows that Larson was around 60 MPH when he got to the pit road speed line. Now, he could have slowed down a bit further down pit road because pit road speed is measured as distance over time in different timing segments. There are a lot of layers to this incident, so, what did the drivers involved have to say?
What They Both Had to Say
Larson was not quick to rush to judgment in his interview following the incident. He wanted to wait until he had all the information to fully say what happened, but he could offer his perspective on what he was thinking at the time of the incident.
I was just maximizing all I could, and I didn’t expect [Blaney] to slow down so early…I just need to look at some data and see where I was relative to pit road speed, and all that, but I hate it for Ryan [Blaney] more than anything…Even if [Blaney] did slow down early, I still should have not pushed that hard.Kyle Larson
It seems that Larson feels he could have gone about this differently, and he did not like that he could have ruined Blaney’s race. At the end of the day, Blaney still found a way to finish up front despite this incident, so, this did not mess Blaney’s day up much.
At the end of the day, Larson was just trying to maximize his entry to pit road, and he did not anticipate Blaney slowing down as much as he did. Larson also admitted that he would need to look at data to see if he overshot the pit road entry. Again, he just seems like he does not want to jump to conclusions, but he is well aware that this could be his fault.
Ryan Blaney spoke to the media following the race, and Fronstretch posted his comments on the incident. Here is what Blaney had to say.
I don’t know. I don’t look at my mirror in those situations. I don’t know he’s coming. All I felt is I got hit, and [Blaney’s spotter] said [Larson] hit the barrells, and that’s all I know.Ryan Blaney
Blaney does not know what happened, and he does not seem to feel any emotion about what happened. Again, this did not affect him much, and Larson is not mad at him about it. So, why would Blaney want to investigate it any further when he has a race to run?
His race turned out okay in the end. It was Larson, who expressed remorse, who got the raw end of it.
Who Was at Fault?
Ultimately, it was an incident of two drivers with different philosophies entering pit road. Larson knew this may be his best chance to get the lead, so he tried to be as aggressive as possible. Blaney was trying not to overdo it since he already had the lead, so he entered more conservatively.
The two came together at the end of the day. Is it possible that Blaney slowed down more than drivers might expect, yes. Is it possible that Larson was more aggressive than he needed to be, also, yes. At the end of the day, there are no hard feelings between the two.