MENCS: Kyle Larson Scores Third Career Victory at Michigan

MENCS: Kyle Larson Scores Third Career Victory at Michigan Getty Images for NASCAR

Kyle Larson “Parked It” into victory lane on Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Larson, who started on the pole in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400, dominated the field after leading 96 of the 200 circuits. The win marks Larson’s second victory of the 2017 season through 15 events.

 

“I just had a hell of a push from Ryan Blaney behind me,” Larson said after the race. “I can’t thank him enough for shoving me like that.  It was cool to see him get his win last week and then he helped me a ton today to get this win.  He stayed committed to me all the way down the frontstretch and got me past the No. 18 which was key.”

 

Larson passed race leader Kyle Busch on a restart with 15 laps remaining. Busch, who led a total of 40 laps all throughout Sunday afternoon, finished seventh in his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota.

 

“Yeah, Ryan Blaney gave me a heck of a push. So, I’ve really got to thank him a ton. I knew the Penske cars took off good, so I was happy to see him behind me. For us to withstand a few restarts there with some tough competitors there was pretty important,” said Larson on the pass for the lead. “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 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran from Las Vegas holds five top five and eight top 10 finishes through 2017. Busch continues to seek his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in 2017.

 

Chase Elliott nearly walked away with his first career cup series victory on Sunday at Michigan. Elliott, who started the FireKeepers Casino 400 in 10th, finished inside the top-three for the third time of the season. He also finished second in this race one year ago when Joey Logano scored the win.

 

“Man, I don’t know.  It was all just about how your push went,” Elliott said after the race.  “I am really proud of our effort today.  I thought we way improved from where we were last year as far as those late-race restarts go and was able to hang with them and really just kind of rely on the guy behind you.  Kyle (Busch) gave me a great push.  I didn’t give him a very good push that time before.  He went a little sooner than I thought he was going to.  He gave me a good push and I think somebody pulled out on him. He had to go block them and it just ends up kind of disrupting the whole situation when that happens.”

 

Elliott sits fifth in points and holds an average start of 11.1 and an average finish of 13.3.

 

Joey Logano, the defending race winner of the FireKeepers 400 at Michigan, rounded out the top-three finishers on Sunday. Logano started seventh on the race leaderboard and finished inside the top 10 in two of the three stages.

 

Martin Truex Jr. and the Furniture Row Racing team showed strength all throughout the afternoon at the 2.0-mile oval. Truex led 62 of the 200 circuits and won stage one and two. However, when the checkered flag waved, Truex finished sixth in the No. 78 Toyota.

 

“We had the best car out there without a doubt – just inside lane restarts at the end killed us, so just stinks when you have to race like that, you know? You get just in a bad spot and there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Truex after the 400-mile race. “We seen it the last couple restarts, so just wrong place. Probably should have took two tires that last time we pitted – we took four. That killed us. Just wrong lane on the restart every single time all day long and couldn’t use the best car to win.”

 

The veteran, who drives for a two-car operation based out of Colorado, holds two victories, five top five and 11 top 10 finishes in 2017. Truex’s teammate Erik Jones finished a little further back in 13th.

 

Race winner Kyle Larson continues to lead the series standings by five points over Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott round out the top five in points as the series heads to Sonoma Raceway next Sunday.

 

The series will go road course racing next weekend at Sonoma Raceway. The Toyota / Save Mart 350 will take place at 3:00 p.m. ET. live on FOX Sports 1. The Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.

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Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.