Motorsport News

Historic Finish an Exclamation Point on Kyle Larson’s Kansas Dominance

Nascar Cup Series driver Kyle Larson celebrates in victory lane after winning at Kansas Speedway, NKP

After witnessing the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history — a finish so close that the transponder of the second-place car tripped NASCAR’s timing and scoring first — you’d think this column would be about the closest finishes in the history of Cup, right?

Well, I already covered that after Daniel Suarez beat second-place Ryan Blaney and third-place Kyle Busch to the finish line by 0.003 and 0.007 seconds, respectively, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February. I again touched on the closest finishes in NASCAR’s top three divisions after Sam Mayer beat Ryan Sieg to the line by 0.002 seconds in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in April.

What more is there to say, other than to marvel at the privilege of seeing not one, not two, but three of the closest finishes in NASCAR history in just the span of nine weeks?

You do have to feel for Chris Buescher and the RFK Racing No. 17 team. The transponder picked them up as the winner and they began celebrating the win that ultimately wasn’t. Sunday’s (May 5) Advent Health 400 marked yet another agonizing defeat for Ford in a 0-for-30 drought to start the season and the manufacturer has now lost three races this year by a combined 0.006 seconds.

Three races where a Ford led at the white flag, only to lose out 12 turns later by mere inches.

But the night belonged to Kyle Larson, who picked up a milestone 25th Cup victory and dethroned Ricky Craven as the winner of the closest finish in Cup history.

And who else would it be but Larson in victory lane? He’s quickly putting together a dominant season, with two wins, five top-three finishes, six stage wins, 143 stage points and 634 laps led in the first 12 races. He currently leads the regular season standings with a 29-point lead over Martin Truex Jr., and at his current rate, Larson would be on pace to lead 1,902 laps this season. It’s a mark that would shatter the 1,127 laps he led last year, which marks the most led by any driver through the first two seasons of the Next Gen car.

Sunday also marks Larson’s second win at Kansas since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2021. He’s been…

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