Kyle Larson punched his ticket into the Championship 4 after winning Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Larson held off Christopher Bell, who was chasing down driver No. 5 in the final laps and even got to the back bumper of Larson on the final lap.
Bell, who finished second was able to pull within one second of the lead with two laps to go and caught Larson’s back bumper on the final lap coming to the checkered flag. Larson made a race winning block on Bell in the final lap to capture the victory on Sunday and punch his ticket to race for a championship at Phoenix Raceway.
“Thankfully Christopher (Bell) always races extremely clean,” Larson told NBC Sports post-race. “It could have got crazier than it did coming to the start-finish line.”
Bell left Sunday with the most stage points earned for the day with 17 total. Bell is now only two points below the cutoff line going into Homestead next weekend.
Rounding out the top five were Christopher Bell in second, Kyle Busch in third, Brad Keselowski in fourth and Ross Chastain in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Ryan Blaney in sixth, William Byron in seventh, Tyler Reddick in eighth, Martin Truex Jr. in ninth and Denny Hamlin in tenth.
Chris Buescher, who finished 11th was the worst finishing playoff driver. Buescher entered Sunday just three points below the cutoff line and now sits 23 points below the cutoff line in eighth of the eight remaining playoff drivers.
After his win on Sunday in Las Vegas, Kyle Larson sits atop the playoff leaderboard with an advancement into the Championship 4. William Byron sits second +9 above the cutoff, Martin Truex Jr. is third +2 above the cutoff and Denny Hamlin sits fourth +2 above the cutoff line.
Drivers that enter Homestead-Miami next weekend below the cutoff line include: Christopher Bell in fifth -2 below the cutoff, Tyler Reddick in sixth -16 below the cutoff, Ryan Blaney in seventh -17 below the cutoff and Chris Buescher is eighth -23 below the cutoff line.
Just two races remain until we find out what four drivers will battle for a Championship at Phoenix Raceway. The series heads to Homestead-Miami next Sunday and then to Martinsville Speedway in two weeks.
Coverage of the “4EVER 400” at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern next Sunday on NBC and MRN.
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson
Race Winner: Kyle Larson
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