Kyle Larson Scores First Xfinity Win of the Season

Kyle Larson wins in Las Vegas
Ralph Garcia/AR1.com

Kyle Larson pulled away from pole winner Christopher Bell after a restart with seven laps left and took the checkered flag in Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300, winning for the first time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Larson beat Bell to the finish line by .881 seconds. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet led 142 of the 200 laps and overcame a pit road snafu that dropped him to eighth for a restart on Lap 139 after a caution for Austin Cindric's crash in Turn 2.

The victory was Larson's first of the season and the ninth of his career.

"It was an awesome day," Larson said in Victory Lane. "This car was so fast. It was really fast last year, but you really never know, and this was my first time racing with this new (flange-fit) body, and it performed well."

Nor did it take him long to recover after the slow pit stop on Lap 135 that set him back.

"Normally my guys are some of the best on pit road," Larson said. "They said the left-rear (tire) just wouldn't come out (of the wheel well). I had been fighting a tight issue all day and then finally we got our car to turn better.

"It allowed me to get to the lead fairly easily, and then I was saving fuel in case the race stayed green."

Christopher Bell scored his second-straight top-3 finish
Ralph Garcia/AR1.com

Larson and Bell are frequent rivals in dirt-track racing, and Bell had the upper hand in last November's Turkey Night Classic and January's Chili Bowl, the marquee midget race of the season. Bell was happy to see the friendly rivalry extend to pavement.

"That was really cool, and there will be a lot more of that," promised Bell, who outdueled Larson at the end of Stage 1 but fell short after the final restart. "We were close, running second to Kyle – if I'm going to run second to anyone, I guess I would rather it be him.

"Special day, we were able to win a stage and get a Playoff point. We need to keep racking those up and get some race wins here."

Justin Allgaier ran third in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler.

But the show at the beginning and at the end was Larson vs. Bell.

Kyle Larson takes the checkered flag in Las Vegas
Ralph Garcia/AR1.com

"It's always fun to get to race Bell," Larson said. "He seems to beat me all the time in the dirt stuff, and he edged me out there in qualifying. We were pretty equal there… It was cool to race, though.

"That first stage kind of felt like we were dirt-track racing there, swapping lanes and stuff. I was trying to take the air off him, and he got by, and yeah, it was fun… Anytime I get to race in the Xfinity Series, I'm sure we'll be up front, battling each other."

Trying for a weekend sweep after winning Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, Kyle Busch fought an ill-handling Toyota throughout the race and finished 14th after his fueler drew a penalty for handling a tire during a green-flag stop on Lap 166.

Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Las Vegas native Spencer Gallagher completed the top 10. Reddick and Sadler leave Las Vegas tied for the series lead, 23-points ahead of Bell in third.


RACE RESULTS

Pos. Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 2 42 Kyle Larson(i) DC Solar Chevrolet 200 142 0 Running
2 1 20 Christopher Bell # Rheem-Smurfit Kappa Toyota 200 6 47 Running
3 12 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet 200 12 43 Running
4 8 22 Ryan Blaney(i) Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford 200 33 0 Running
5 6 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet 200 0 39 Running
6 3 21 Daniel Hemric South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet 200 0 38 Running
7 16 19 Brandon Jones Menards Toyota 200 0 39 Running
8 7 9 Tyler Reddick # Nationwide Children's Chevrolet 200 3 43 Running
9 4 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 200 4 38 Running
10 11 23 Spencer Gallagher Allegiant Chevrolet 200 0 27 Running
11 9 2 Matt Tifft Tunity Chevrolet 200 0 26 Running
12 10 3 Austin Dillon(i) Go Green Equipment Chevrolet 200 0 0 Running
13 19 5 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 200 0 24 Running
14 5 18 Kyle Busch(i) Interstate Batteries Toyota 200 0 0 Running
15 17 11 Ryan Truex Bar Harbor Chevrolet 200 0 22 Running
16 18 24 Kaz Grala # NETTTS Ford 200 0 21 Running
17 24 36 Alex Labbe Can-Am/Wholey/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet 200 0 20 Running
18 14 4 Ross Chastain teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 199 0 19 Running
19 13 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford 199 0 18 Running
20 23 35 Joey Gase Nevada Donor Network Chevrolet 197 0 17 Running
21 29 90 Josh Williams Star Tron/Starbrite Chevrolet 197 0 16 Running
22 20 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 196 0 15 Running
23 26 15 Garrett Smithley teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 0 14 Running
24 37 1 Vinnie Miller # JAS Expeditited Trucking LLC Chevrolet 196 0 13 Running
25 33 8 Tommy Joe Martins Chevrolet 195 0 12 Running
26 34 78 BJ McLeod Zomongo/JW Transport Chevrolet 195 0 11 Running
27 27 0 Matt Mills # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 194 0 10 Running
28 39 45 Josh Bilicki # Prevagen Toyota 189 0 9 Running
29 21 39 Ryan Sieg Big Valley Towing Chevrolet 185 0 8 Engine
30 40 55 Stephen Leicht Jani-King Toyota 185 0 7 Running
31 38 74 Mike Harmon Shadow Warriors Project Chevrolet 183 0 6 Running
32 30 40 Chad Finchum # TLC Vacations/Smithbilt Homes Toyota 140 0 5 Suspension
33 25 66 Timmy Hill Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit Dodge 134 0 4 Power
34 15 60 Austin Cindric # Pirtek Ford 132 0 3 Accident
35 35 52 David Starr Chasco Corporation Chevrolet 78 0 2 Engine
36 31 76 Spencer Boyd # Grunt Style Chevrolet 70 0 1 Suspension
37 36 89 Morgan Shepherd Visone RV Chevrolet 24 0 1 Oil Leak
38 28 93 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 18 0 1 Vibration
39 32 38 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 15 0 1 Brakes
40 22 28 Dylan Lupton thinQ Technology Partners Ford 5 0 1 Accident

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