Kyle Larson Pulls Out OT Victory In Bristol Xfinity Race

Kyle Larson wins at Bristol
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Going into Friday night, Kyle Larson had scored three second place finishes in NASCAR Xfinity Series action at Bristol Motor Speedway, but had not sealed the deal with a victory on the high banked half-mile raceway.

By the end of the Food City 300, that statistic had changed.

On an Overtime restart with rain threatening overhead, Larson held off first Justin Allgaier then Christopher Bell over the final three laps to score the win.

It's Larson's fourth win of the season, and the 12th in his series career.

Larson said scoring his first career win at Bristol felt "really good."

"I wish Kyle Busch wouldn't have had his troubles so I could have raced him, but it still feels really, really cool to win a race here, finally, at Bristol," he said as rain began falling over the speedway. "I've been close so many times. This is my best race track by far, I feel like, this and Homestead. It feels cool to win."

Likely the only driver that really could have challenged Larson was Kyle Busch. Busch, who started from the pole, led the first 69 laps of the race, and had lapped all but about 12 cars on the track. That early dominance went away when his No. 18 Toyota made contact with the outside wall left his Toyota suspension damage on the right front, ending his night.

Busch said rubber build up led to his problem.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"] "Just rubber on top of rubber," he said. "The rubber build up that was happening – I just got into the corner a little too hot and just got up into the fence a little bit and then I don't know, two or three laps later it blew out."

With Busch sidelined, Larson went on to lead a total of 202 laps, winning both early segments en route to the victory.

"I've been so close so many times," Larson said. "I thought Bell was going to steal this one from me from me a few times throughout that race. He was really good. He and I have very similar driving styles, so I knew he would be another one that Kyle and I would have to beat. He showed that for sure."

The only two drivers that came close to challenging late in the going were Allgaier and Bell. Over the closing laps, Bell closed on Larson in lapped traffic, pulling alongside the leader on several occasions. But a late pit stop saw Bell come off pit road in third, and he slipped back into the top five on the restart.

Allgaier then gave chase to Larson, but couldn't seem to close. That changed when a spin by Daniel Hemric with two laps to go sent the race into Overtime.

Kyle Larson (L) battles Justin Allgaier (R) at Bristol
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Allgaier was able to challenge Larson on the final restart, but as Larson moved away, Bell muscled his way past Allgaier to take home the second spot.

But up front, it was all Larson taking the win.

Larson was worried that the final caution might cost him another chance for a Bristol victory.

"We had the yellow there with two to go, and I was like ‘Man, again! Again, I'm going to lose one here late,'" Larson said. "But we were able to get an average restart and get the win.

"Just really excited, and can't wait for tomorrow."

Bell, the current series points leader, had to settle for a second place result.

"I think we were on more than we were off," said Bell. "We just got caught there in the wrong restart lines a couple times and lost a couple spots. We started fourth on the one that mattered and that's how we ended up second. I just kind of did a bad job through traffic and I'd always try and make up time hoping that the 42 (Kyle Larson) or one of those guys would go to the bottom too quick and I'd be able to fill the gap on the outside. I'd always cost myself time there getting stuck behind the lapped cars."

Afterwards, Allgaier, who sits second in series points, second guessed his choice running the middle groove on the last restart.

"He (Larson) spun the tires pretty badly on that last restart, and – you know, I probably should have gone to the bottom in hindsight," he said. "I tried to run through the middle, it had worked earlier. Just didn't have the run off of two, and let the 20 get to us. Unfortunately, once he got to me, he got me a little bit loose, and it was kind of game over from there."

Cole Custer finished in fourth, with Joey Logano in fifth.

Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Matt Tifft rounded out the top ten.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 3 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 310 202 0 Running
2 2 20 Christopher Bell Rheem Toyota 310 18 39 Running
3 10 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet 310 0 46 Running
4 9 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 310 5 39 Running
5 4 22 Joey Logano Snap On Ford 310 2 0 Running
6 6 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet 310 12 39 Running
7 22 5 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 310 0 32 Running
8 15 23 Chase Elliott Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevrolet 310 2 0 Running
9 14 9 Tyler Reddick Food City Chevrolet 310 0 37 Running
10 5 2 Matt Tifft Nexteer Chevrolet 310 0 32 Running
11 21 39 Ryan Sieg Cook?s Comfort Systems Inc. Chevrolet 310 0 26 Running
12 18 4 Ross Chastain Flex Seal Chevrolet 309 0 25 Running
13 19 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 308 0 24 Running
14 17 12 Austin Cindric Pirtek Ford 308 0 23 Running
15 8 3 Ty Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet 307 0 0 Running
16 25 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet 305 0 21 Running
17 16 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford 304 0 20 Running
18 26 35 Joey Gase Sparks Chevrolet 304 0 19 Running
19 23 15 BJ McLeod teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 304 0 18 Running
20 27 78 JA Junior Avila CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet 304 0 17 Running
21 32 52 David Starr Chasco/Whataburger/Dai Chevrolet 303 0 16 Running
22 12 11 Ryan Truex LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 302 0 22 Running
23 20 36 Alex Labbe Can-Am/Wholey/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet 301 0 14 Running
24 11 21 Daniel Hemric South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet 300 0 14 Accident
25 35 76 Spencer Boyd # Grunt Style Chevrolet 299 0 12 Running
26 29 38 Jeff Green C2 Freight Resources Chevrolet 298 0 11 Fuel Pump
27 38 55 Bayley Currey Prevagen Toyota 288 0 0 Running
28 28 90 Josh Williams Sleep Well Chevrolet 278 0 9 Suspension
29 7 19 Brandon Jones Juniper Toyota 260 0 11 Suspension
30 30 40 Chad Finchum Smithbilt Homes/The Preserve Toyota 195 0 7 Accident
31 39 74 Stephen Leicht Horizon Travel Chevrolet 192 0 6 Overheating
32 34 1 Vinnie Miller Flex Glue Chevrolet 179 0 5 Transmission
33 36 66 Carl Long TLC Resorts Chevrolet 174 0 4 Suspension
34 13 60 Chase Briscoe Ford Ford 142 0 3 Accident
35 37 45 Josh Bilicki Prevagen Toyota 102 0 2 Transmission
36 1 18 Kyle Busch NOS Energy Drink Toyota 74 69 0 Accident
37 24 8 Ray Black II Isokern Chevrolet 36 0 1 Engine
38 31 13 Timmy Hill Smithbilt Homes Toyota 22 0 1 Overheating
39 40 89 Morgan Shepherd Visone RV Chevrolet 12 0 1 Vibration
40 33 93 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 9 0 1 Brakes


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