Kansas NASCAR: Larson takes win on emotional day for Hendrick

Kyle Larson’s remarkable season continued as he held off Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Chase Elliott at Kansas to win his ninth NASCAR Cup race of the season.

Kansas NASCAR: Larson takes win on emotional day for Hendrick

Larson, who dominated much of the race, powered to the lead on a restart with 39 of 267 laps remaining and held off late challenges from first Kevin Harvick and then Elliott by 3.619s at the finish.

Larson has now won the first two races of the semi-final round of the series playoff and remains the only driver locked into the Championship 4. It’s also the second time this season Larson has won three consecutive races.

The victory came on the anniversary of a Hendrick plane crash in 2004 during a race weekend at Martinsville that killed 10 people, including team owner Rick Hendrick’s son, brother and two nieces.

Kansas Speedway was also the site of Ricky Hendrick’s only NASCAR win, a Truck victory in the 2001 season.

During the race, Larson also eclipsed a 2001 record set by former HMS driver and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for most laps led during a 36-race season (2,320 laps).

“I want to dedicate this win to Rick and Linda [Hendrick]. I never got to meet Ricky or the other men and women who lost their lives that day but I felt the importance of this race, no doubt,” Larson said. “It was crazy how it all worked out there at the end.

“Thank you to Rick Hendrick. I know it means a lot to you and I’m glad I could get it done.”

Race winner Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro HendrickCars.com

Race winner Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro HendrickCars.com

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Once again, Larson found some of his toughest competition in the race from his team-mates.

“I thought we were a third-place car, maybe,” Larson said. “William [Byron] was really fast. I hate to see the unfortunate luck there for that team [Byron had to pit late for loose lug nuts]. They’ve been really strong of late.

“But we were able to capitalise and get the win and hopefully we’ll go to Martinsville and get a clock.”

Harvick ended up third in Sunday’s race, Kurt Busch was fourth and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

As has become commonplace during this year’s playoff run, several title contenders experienced problems in Sunday’s race, including Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

With one race remaining in the semi-final round next weekend at Martinsville, the four drivers lowest in points without a win and in danger of missing out on the Championship 4 are Blaney, Truex, Keselowski and Joey Logano.

NASCAR Cup Kansas race results - 267 laps

Cla Driver Manufacturer Time Gap
1 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 3:03'48.336  
2 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 3:03'51.955 3.619
3 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 3:03'53.126 4.790
4 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 3:03'55.071 6.735
5 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 3:03'55.449 7.113
6 United States William Byron Chevrolet 3:03'57.241 8.905
7 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 3:03'57.689 9.353
8 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 3:03'58.445 10.109
9 United States Joey Logano Ford 3:03'59.824 11.488
10 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 3:04'01.927 13.591
11 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 3:04'03.470 15.134
12 United States Chris Buescher Ford 3:04'05.534 17.198
13 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 3:04'06.726 18.390
14 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 3:04'09.457 21.121
15 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 3:04'11.723 23.387
16 United States Michael McDowell Ford 3:03'48.929 1 Lap
17 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 3:04'13.007 1 Lap
18 United States Cole Custer Ford 3:04'13.461 1 Lap
19 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 3:04'13.780 1 Lap
20 United States Parker Kligerman Toyota 3:04'14.223 1 Lap
21 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 3:03'52.430 2 Laps
22 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 3:04'00.341 2 Laps
23 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 3:04'14.793 2 Laps
24 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 3:04'16.739 2 Laps
25 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 3:03'49.722 4 Laps
26 United States Aric Almirola Ford 3:03'51.296 4 Laps
27 United States Ryan Newman Ford 3:04'01.064 4 Laps
28 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 3:03'54.181 6 Laps
29 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 3:04'19.710 7 Laps
30 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 3:04'12.469 8 Laps
31 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 3:04'19.324 9 Laps
32 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 3:03'55.376 11 Laps
33 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 3:04'04.356 11 Laps
34 United States David Starr Ford 3:03'55.629 12 Laps
35 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 3:04'08.789 12 Laps
36 United States Ryan Ellis Chevrolet 3:03'50.373 13 Laps
37 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 2:37'35.957 43 Laps
38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 1:59'11.212 96 Laps
39 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 2:02'10.861 102 Laps
40 United States Chad Finchum Ford 41'11.236 220 Laps
 

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