NASCAR Michigan: Kyle Larson takes maiden Cup victory

Kyle Larson came out on top in a tense late race battle with rookie Chase Elliott to win his maiden NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan

NASCAR Michigan: Kyle Larson takes maiden Cup victory

In a race of minimal incident, the pair ran together throughout and Elliott took the lead from Larson midway through due to a slow stop for the Chip Ganassi driver under green flag conditions.

The Hendrick Motorsports rookie looked the safe bet for victory until the yellow was thrown late on as Michael Annett blew a tyre.

Larson got the better of his young rival at the final restart to take the lead with nine to go.

It was a lead that Larson did not relinquish, securing the win and a spot in the Chase for the championship in the process.

Elliott fell to third at the restart but did recover to finish second ahead of Brad Keselowski, the Penske driver taking two tyres at the final round of stops to elevate himself from the midfield.

Rookie Ryan Blaney took fourth to help his case in securing a Chase spot through points scoring and early race leader Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

Jimmie Johnson finished sixth despite being a strong contender in the early stages, consistently racing in the top three and leading 37 laps.

His race was ruined at the third caution midway through when having previously pitted under green, he came in again for new tyres as his right rear felt like it was deflating.

Carl Edwards took on two tyres at the final round of green stops to finish seventh as Jamie McMurray came home eighth with Denny Hamlin in ninth.

Polesitter Joey Logano featured strongly and led 24 laps, but faded away as his Ford struggled on restarts and the longer green flag runs to eventually finishing 10th.

Reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch had another weekend to forget, finishing a lap down in 18th after a spin on lap 25 ruined his chances of a decent finish.

A pitstop error by Martin Truex Jr's crew caused damage to the left rear bodywork of his Furniture Row car and he also finished a lap down in 19th.

Chris Buescher's Chase place - which relies on him remaining in the top 30 in the championship following his shock Pocono win - is under threat as engine issues meant he finished seven laps down in 35th.

RESULT - 200 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 2h27m29.s
2 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1.478s
3 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 2.064s
4 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 4.108s
5 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 4.559s
6 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 4.773s
7 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 6.371s
8 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 6.722s
9 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 7.748s
10 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 7.791s
11 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 8.284s
12 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 9.020s
13 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 9.419s
14 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 9.729s
15 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 10.108s
16 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 10.256s
17 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 11.323s
18 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 11.547s
19 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 1 Lap
20 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 1 Lap
21 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
22 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
23 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
24 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 2 Laps
25 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 2 Laps
26 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 2 Laps
28 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 3 Laps
29 David Ragan BK Racing Toyota 4 Laps
30 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 5 Laps
31 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 5 Laps
32 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 5 Laps
33 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 5 Laps
34 Cole Whitt Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 6 Laps
35 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford 7 Laps
36 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 7 Laps
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt Go FAS Racing Ford 8 Laps
38 Josh Wise The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 8 Laps
39 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford Suspension
40 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 40 Laps

CURRENT PROVISIONAL CHASE FIELD

On wins: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart, Chris Buescher

On points: Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Kevin Harvick 799
2 Brad Keselowski 764
3 Carl Edwards 724
4 Kurt Busch 721
5 Joey Logano 716
6 Kyle Busch 696
7 Denny Hamlin 691
8 Martin Truex Jr. 652
9 Jimmie Johnson 648
10 Matt Kenseth 633
11 Chase Elliott 628
12 Austin Dillon 622
13 Jamie McMurray 616
14 Ryan Newman 601
15 Kyle Larson 582
16 Kasey Kahne 564
17 Trevor Bayne 558
18 Ryan Blaney 545
19 A.J. Allmendinger 544
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 528
21 Greg Biffle 472
22 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 461
23 Paul Menard 454
24 Danica Patrick 450
25 Aric Almirola 422
26 Tony Stewart 420
27 Clint Bowyer 408
28 Casey Mears 394
29 Landon Cassill 357
30 Chris Buescher 334
31 David Ragan 327
32 Regan Smith 309
33 Brian Scott 304
34 Michael McDowell 288
35 Matt DiBenedetto 243

shares
comments
Dale Earnhardt Jr ruled out of at least two more NASCAR races

Previous article

Dale Earnhardt Jr ruled out of at least two more NASCAR races

Next article

Chase Elliott feels he let his team down losing Michigan NASCAR win

Chase Elliott feels he let his team down losing Michigan NASCAR win
Load comments
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020