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Chicagoland NASCAR: Kyle Busch wins after last-lap Larson contact

NASCAR Cup series points leader Kyle Busch survived final lap contact with Kyle Larson at Chicagoland to take his fifth win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing

Busch led Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Larson with 42 laps to go when racing resumed after the fifth caution.

Chip Ganassi Racing man Larson quickly disposed of Furniture Row Racing's Truex and Stewart-Haas driver Harvick to set up a shootout for the win between himself and long-time leader Busch.

As the leading duo encountered stubborn backmarker traffic in the closing stages, Larson pounced and grabbed the lead on the final lap but slid into Busch's car as he did so - pitching the two into the outside barrier.

Both were able to continue, but further contact led to Larson slewing onto the infield, leaving Busch clear to take the 48th Cup win of his career, with Larson catching his slide (pictured) to salvage second ahead of Harvick.

Busch had risen through the field from 16th on the grid, although he radioed in that he was suffering with problems following other cars mid-way through stage two.

He was still able to make his way through the top 10 to run second by the time Corey Lajoie hit the Turn 2 wall, bringing out the caution flag.

Quick pit work led to Busch winning the race off pitroad, and taking a lead that he would only relinquish for the few seconds Larson got ahead.

Harvick, who won stage two after a last corner pass on team-mate Kurt Busch, led 39 laps but was unable to either pass Kyle Busch or defend from the charging Larson.

He fended off Truex, who came from near the back to fourth.

The 2017 champion had started in 36th place after his car failed the post-qualifying inspection. He quickly scythed through the field, and was in the top 10 by the end of the first 80-lap stage.

Although he had strong pace, Truex did not lead a lap - the only driver in the top five to not do so.

Clint Bowyer had a fine recovery drive after he was penalised twice for speeding in the pitlane.

Leading after the first stop cycle around lap 35, the #14 was issued with a drivethrough penalty, but after speeding again while serving the penalty he was forced to pit for a stop/go.

Bizarrely, he failed to stop for a sufficient period of time, and came into the pits for a third time to serve the penalty. He dropped to the rear of the field, three laps down.

Helped by caution periods, the Stewart-Haas Racing man fought his way back up to take fifth at the flag.

Long-time leader Aric Almirola dropped out of on contention for the win after suffering a loose wheel, just after the second green flag stops, approaching half-distance.

Despite his best efforts, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver was unable to recover from the unscheduled stop and came home in 25th, although he did lead a race high 70 laps.

Polesitter Paul Menard was jumped by Ryan Blaney at the start of the race, and his afternoon did not get any better.

The Wood Brothers Racing driver was also slapped with a speeding penalty, finishing just ahead of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in 13th place.

Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin, who survived a late race spin, took sixth and seventh for Joe Gibbs Racing - Hamlin also coming from the back of the grid.

Team Penske team-mates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski were eighth and ninth, with Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports rounding out the top 10.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 2h50m52.s
2 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 267 1.875s
3 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 267 2.319s
4 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 267 4.944s
5 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 267 10.616s
6 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 15.401s
7 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 18.520s
8 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 267 20.606s
9 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 267 21.147s
10 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 267 22.015s
11 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 22.061s
12 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 267 28.035s
13 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 267 29.029s
14 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 267 29.050s
15 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 267 31.206s
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 266 1 Lap
17 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 266 1 Lap
18 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 266 1 Lap
19 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 266 1 Lap
20 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 266 1 Lap
21 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 266 1 Lap
22 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 266 1 Lap
23 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 266 1 Lap
24 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 266 1 Lap
25 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 266 1 Lap
26 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 265 2 Laps
27 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Toyota 264 3 Laps
28 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 264 3 Laps
29 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 262 5 Laps
30 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 261 6 Laps
31 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 260 7 Laps
32 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 259 8 Laps
33 Kyle Weatherman StarCom Racing Chevrolet 255 12 Laps
34 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 233 34 Laps
35 B.J. McLeod Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 227 40 Laps
36 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 224 43 Laps
37 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 189 Wheel
38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 189 78 Laps
39 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports Toyota 185 Radiator

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 736
2 Kevin Harvick 674
3 Joey Logano 617
4 Martin Truex Jr. 594
5 Brad Keselowski 592
6 Clint Bowyer 579
7 Kurt Busch 560
8 Denny Hamlin 537
9 Kyle Larson 524
10 Ryan Blaney 495
11 Aric Almirola 493
12 Jimmie Johnson 442
13 Chase Elliott 435
14 Erik Jones 408
15 Alex Bowman 390
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 367
17 Paul Menard 362
18 Daniel Suarez 316
19 Austin Dillon 314
20 Jamie McMurray 309
21 William Byron 306
22 Ryan Newman 298
23 A.J. Allmendinger 273
24 Darrell Wallace Jr. 269
25 Chris Buescher 261
26 David Ragan 241
27 Michael McDowell 240
28 Kasey Kahne 229
29 Ty Dillon 207
30 Matt DiBenedetto 184
31 Trevor Bayne 166
32 Gray Gaulding 113
33 Cole Whitt 87
34 Landon Cassill 76
35 D.J. Kennington 58
36 Corey LaJoie 52
37 Matt Kenseth 49
38 Reed Sorenson 36
39 Jeffrey Earnhardt 35
40 Harrison Rhodes 23
41 Mark Thompson 15
42 Chris Cook 6
43 Tomy Drissi 5
44 Derrike Cope 4
45 Kyle Weatherman 4
46 Danica Patrick 2
47 Cody Ware 1

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