clear
Wednesday October 18th, 2017 11:30PM

Larson snatches another win at Michigan on final restart

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Kyle Larson's ambitious weekend ended in triumph.

Larson slipped between cars on an overtime restart and won Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The victory capped a busy stretch for Larson after team owner Chip Ganassi allowed him to go to Iowa to compete in the Knoxville Nationals on Saturday.

He finished second at that sprint car event before returning to Michigan and earning his fourth career Cup victory.

"This win feels amazing to steal one in a way," Larson said. "My other three wins I felt like we had the first- or second-best car, but today at times I didn't think we were a top-10 car. But to get the win that way is awesome."

Martin Truex Jr. was in the lead, about a second ahead of teammate Erik Jones, before a late caution came out because of a spin by Michael McDowell. That forced overtime.

A red flag for oil on the track only added to the drama, and when the race restarted for the final time, Larson — who hadn't led at all to that point — drove to the right of Jones and passed to the inside of Truex.

"We got beat fair and square," said Truex, the series points leader. "The double-file restarts are tricky, and sometimes you do them right, sometimes you screw them up, and unfortunately I screwed the one up that mattered the most today."

Larson has won the last three Cup races at MIS, the first driver to do that since Bill Elliott, who won four straight from 1985-86. This was Larson's third win of the season and ended a mini-slump in which he had finished out of the top 20 in three straight races.

Truex and Jones finished second and third for Furniture Row Racing.

Larson won by 0.31 seconds in his No. 42 Chevrolet. Brad Keselowski and Truex won the first two stages.

There was a lot of hoopla Friday when Ganassi announced he was letting Larson go to Iowa. Both driver and owner were going to be in the spotlight no matter what happened in Sunday's race.

"When you're in my position of this past week's activities with all the talk about Knoxville and going to Knoxville last night and not getting back here until two in the morning, I'm out on the end of the diving board there a lot of times," Ganassi said. "So I appreciate when Kyle steps up and does what he did today. It makes it all worthwhile, obviously."

Keselowski, the pole winner, led for 105 laps, but finished 17th. He is now winless in 17 Cup races at his home state's track.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has two wins at Michigan, finished 14th in his final race at MIS before he retires at the end of this season.

The race was originally scheduled for 200 laps and 400 miles. It ended up being 202 laps. Keselowski led almost the entire way through the 60-lap first stage, only giving up the top spot briefly during a pit cycle. Keselowski was second to Truex in the second stage.

Aside from the end of the first two stages, there were no yellow flags until lap 140, after Kasey Kahne slid in front of Daniel Suarez and slammed into the wall , taking them both out.

TOYOTA'S DAY

Keselowski ended Toyota's streak of five straight poles and offered a theory as to why after qualifying Friday.

"About this time every year NASCAR takes all the cars to kind of check to make sure that the competitive balance is where they want it to be," Keselowski said then. "We had a strong suspicion that those guys would kind of tune it down this weekend, so not to post a pretty big number in inspection that maybe balanced back out the competition."

On race day, Truex and Jones finished second and third in their Toyotas, but the win went to a Chevy. Keselowski drives a Ford.

"I think that for Brad and those guys that think that maybe we're sandbagging, I think it's a glimpse of, if they get their stuff right, maybe they can beat us," Truex said. "It's not all just that we have better race cars. ... I feel good about our race cars and what we've been doing all year. We brought some new stuff here this weekend to try to get better, and that's what we'll continue to do."

PLAYOFF OUTLOOK

Matt Kenseth plummeted at the end and finished 24th, missing a chance to open some distance between himself and Clint Bowyer in the playoff race. If the playoffs began now, Kenseth would be the last driver in. He is 31 points ahead of Bowyer in the standings, but he could have had a bigger advantage.

Bowyer finished 23rd on a problem-filled day that included multiple penalties for pit road speeding.

UP NEXT

The Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for a race Saturday night.

___

This version corrects the spelling of Earnhardt.

___

More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org .

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, NASCAR
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
10 Things to Know for Monday
Among 10 Things to Know: James Alex Fields Jr., accused of running over counter protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., had an "idolization of Hitler," says his high school teacher Derek Weimer.
9:06PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group
A former teacher of the young man accused of driving a car into a crowd of protesters says he was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler, and had been singled out in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race
9:01PM ( 16 minutes ago )
White House scrambles to explain Trump's response to clashes
A day after Trump was criticized for not denouncing specific hate groups, White House scrambles to explain and broaden the president's response to violent clashes in Virginia
8:53PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Mitchell Trubisky's debut causes stir in Bears training camp
Mitchell Trubisky's strong debut makes an uncomfortable situation for starting quarterback Mike Glennon even more difficult.
7:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Justin Thomas rallies to win the PGA Championship
Justin Thomas, steeped in PGA professional heritage, captures first major at PGA Championship
7:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Maloofs bet $880K on Mayweather to give winnings to charity
Gavin and Joe Maloof are so confident Floyd Mayweather Jr. will beat Conor McGregor that they've bet $880,000 on it
7:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Hospital: Many victims of car crash improving
A Charlottesville hospital says many of the patients injured after a car drove into a crowd of protesters at a white nationalist rally are improving
4:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: FAA, NTSB investigating police helicopter crash
Virginia State Police say the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are assisting in the investigation into a fatal helicopter crash outside Charlottesville that claimed the lives of two state troopers
3:53PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Rally organizer booed, pushed in Charlottesville
The man who organized a rally in Charlottesville that sparked violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters tried to hold a news conference a day after the deadly event, but a crowd of several hundred booed and forced him away
2:59PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Earnhardt calls Harvick's comments 'hurtful'
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he's proud of his accomplishments after Kevin Harvick suggested that NASCAR's growth has been hindered because Earnhardt hasn't won enough
8:32AM ( 2 days ago )
Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne to split after 6 years
Hendrick Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne have agreed to part ways after six years
11:21AM ( 6 days ago )
Truex wins fuel-mileage gamble at The Glen
Martin Truex Jr. won a fuel mileage gamble at Watkins Glen International and held off Matt Kenseth on the final lap to capture the NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen International
8:02PM ( 1 week ago )
NASCAR
10 Things to Know for Monday
Among 10 Things to Know: James Alex Fields Jr., accused of running over counter protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., had an "idolization of Hitler," says his high school teacher Derek Weimer.
9:06PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group
A former teacher of the young man accused of driving a car into a crowd of protesters says he was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler, and had been singled out in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race
9:01PM ( 16 minutes ago )
White House scrambles to explain Trump's response to clashes
A day after Trump was criticized for not denouncing specific hate groups, White House scrambles to explain and broaden the president's response to violent clashes in Virginia
8:53PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Will NKorea's Kim pull the trigger? Possible signs to watch
US-NKorea tensions tend to flare and fade fast, but the latest escalation won't likely go away quite so easily
8:49PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Victim's friend calls her death an act of terror
A close friend of the woman who was killed when a car plowed into peaceful protesters in Charlottesville says she cared about people and stood up for equality
8:47PM ( 30 minutes ago )