Kyle Larson uses late race dramatics to win FireKeepers Casino 400

19 Jun 2017
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Kyle Larson uses late race dramatics to win FireKeepers Casino 400 Getty Images for NASCAR

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.”

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway to put on another exciting show in August. The Pure Michigan 400 is August 13 at 3 p.m. The green flag to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 waves on August 12.

Tickets for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race start at $35. Race fans who purchase early will have the best prices and the best seats. Children 12 and under are free on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, tickets for children 12 and under start at $15.  Children 12 and under can attend three days of NASCAR action for just $15, ensuring families a weekend of fun at affordable prices.

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Steven B. Wilson

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