Larson uses late race dramatics to win at Michigan

Kyle Larson celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane after winning the FireKeepers Casino 400, his second consecutive win at Michigan
Kyle Larson celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane after winning the FireKeepers Casino 400, his second consecutive win at Michigan

Kyle Larson made the perfect restart when it mattered the most to win the FireKeepers Casino 400. It marked his second consecutive victory at Michigan International Speedway.

On the final restart with five laps to go, Larson started on the outside and Denny Hamlin on the inside. The two drivers went into turn one side-by-side, but Larson was able to pull away to take the checkered flag.

“The Cars 3 Chevy was really, really fast," Larson said. “And it was cool to win it. What a great Father’s Day present for myself and all the other fathers out there. My dad is here today, too. So, I’m looking forward to celebrating with him. We’ve been so close to so many other wins. This is our second Cup win of the year, but we’ve had six second place finishes. All-in-all, it’s a good season so far and we’ll continue to keep building on what we’ve got."

The final caution came after a four-car accident on the backstretch. It capped a wild finish to the race. The last 20 laps saw three caution flags wave to continue to keep the field bunched up.

And each time Larson led the field to the green flag. The field continued to go into turns one and two three and four wide, but it was always Larson leading.

Larson started on the pole and showed his car had the speed. He led the first 34 laps of the race. Martin Truex Jr. moved to the front on lap 35 and never looked back to win the first stage.

Truex continued his dominance in stage two. Larson won the race off pit road to begin stage two and was able to start the stage from the front. After a cycle of green flag pit stops, Truex found himself back up front.

And once again it was the best time to lead. He added another 10 points to his regular season point total.

Chase Elliott looked to finally get his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Victory and it might happen on the same track his dad won seven times. But for the third consecutive race at MIS, the younger Elliott finished second.

“I really think we over-achieved today from what we had on Friday and Saturday and even last night, I was getting a little nervous about how the day was going to go," Elliott said. “So, I’m happy that we could have a solid day and put ourselves in position and kind of rely on some late-race restarts. We had a couple of opportunities to get the lead. And unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. But we’ll move on. Congratulations to Kyle (Larson, race winner). He had a fast car today and we’ll try to go get ‘em next week."

Results

Pos St. No. Driver Car Laps Status
1 1 42 Kyle Larson Cars 3/Target Chevrolet 200 Running
2 10 24 Chase Elliott NAPA Chevrolet 200 Running
3 7 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 200 Running
4 5 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 200 Running
5 8 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 200 Running
6 2 78 Martin Truex Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 200 Running
7 4 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Red White & Blue Toyota 200 Running
8 21 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third Bank Ford 200 Running
9 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mountain Dew Chevrolet 200 Running
10 13 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 200 Running
11 9 20 Matt Kenseth Freightliner Toyota 200 Running
12 15 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford 200 Running
13 14 77 Erik Jones # 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota 200 Running
14 11 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 200 Running
15 19 31 Ryan Newman Velveeta Chevrolet 200 Running
16 12 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 200 Running
17 27 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 200 Running
18 25 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 200 Running
19 26 43 Darrell Wallace Jr.(i) Smithfield Ford 200 Running
20 37 13 Ty Dillon # Twisted Tea Chevrolet 200 Running
21 16 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 200 Running
22 30 27 Paul Menard NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet 200 Running
23 22 95 Michael McDowell WRL General Contractors Chevrolet 200 Running
24 20 19 Daniel Suarez # Stanley Toyota 200 Running
25 6 21 Ryan Blaney Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford 200 Running
26 3 14 Clint Bowyer Haas-Automation Ford 200 Running
27 18 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 199 Running
28 28 32 Matt DiBenedetto Keen Parts Ford 199 Running
29 29 38 David Ragan Shriners Hospitals for Children Ford 198 Running
30 32 83 * Corey LaJoie # JAS Expedited Trucking Toyota 197 Running
31 33 72 Cole Whitt RTIC Coolers Chevrolet 197 Running
32 36 34 Landon Cassill MDS Ford 196 Running
33 31 23 Ryan Sieg(i) Dr Pepper Toyota 196 Running
34 34 15 Reed Sorenson Corrigan Oil Chevrolet 195 Running
35 35 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt Hulu Chevrolet 195 Running
36 24 37 Chris Buescher Kingsford Chevrolet 194 Running
37 23 10 Danica Patrick TaxAct Ford 190 Accident

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