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Kyle Larson Ends Up in the Right Place at the Right Time

#17: Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his win

Another race weekend where a NASCAR Cup Series regular wins over the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers. 

That did happen, but not in the way you might think.

Kyle Larson won the pole at Circuit of the Americas, but the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports team had to replace a cracked brake rotor, sending him to the back at the start.

Larson eventually found himself near the front, but Shane van Gisbergen and AJ Allmendinger led most of the race.

Things changed around lap 43 when Ed Jones went off course and leaked fluid, bringing out the caution. Larson pitted for fresh tires under the yellow and restarted in the 20s. Chaos ensued in the first overtime, and the No. 17 found itself back near the front.

Austin Hill then took the lead from van Gisbergen in the second overtime restart, but as they battled, Larson got by both on the last lap and won the race.

Hill came home second (after van Gisbergen was penalized for cutting a corner on the final lap), John Hunter Nemechek was third, Cole Custer took fourth and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top five. 


Yes, you read that right. Larson led only the final lap and took the win. The California native earned his 15th Xfinity victory and second on a road course. 

What’s interesting about it all is that when there was mayhem, he stayed cool but aggressive when he needed to be. Larson was methodical and showed just how much skill he had to even go through the field after starting in the back. 

I remember some drivers in the past commenting about how they liked racing with Kyle Busch because it helped them become better racers, and I believe the same can be said about Larson. I mean, yes, the Nos. 16 and 97 were class of the field, but Larson kept his car within the track limits and proved he could still take the trophy from the Xfinity regulars.

Hill’s No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was in the top 10 for a good chunk of the race, finishing sixth in stage one. But when the caution flew toward the end, that’s when Hill’s desire to challenge for the lead ramped up. He nearly had it made, too, but the fight with van Gisbergen allowed Larson to sneak by.

Still, it was Hill’s fifth straight top five of the season, helping him to maintain his points lead.

Nemechek had a day similar to Connor Zilisch‘s in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race earlier in the afternoon, as he also had…

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