Kyle Lar­son earns sec­ond NASCAR win of sea­son.

The Washington Post - - SPORTS - BY NOAH TRIS­TER

brook­lyn, mich. — Three times, Kyle Lar­son needed to out­race the rest of the con­tenders on late restarts.

That’s a task he’s proved he can han­dle at Michi­gan In­ter­na­tional Speed­way.

Lar­son took con­trol on a restart with five laps re­main­ing and held off Chase El­liott on Sun­day for his sec­ond NASCAR Cup Se­ries victory of the sea­son. The fin­ish was sim­i­lar to the race at Michi­gan last Au­gust, when Lar­son took the lead on a restart with nine laps left en route to his first Cup win.

Lar­son won this year at Fon­tana and has five sec­ond-place fin­ishes. He also was sec­ond in the all-star race, which doesn’t count in the stand­ings.

“We’ve been so close to so many other wins,” the 24-yearold Lar­son said. “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.”

It was the third Cup win of Lar­son’s ca­reer and 14th by Chip Ganassi Rac­ing. El­liott was sec­ond in both Michi­gan races last year, and again this time. He’s win­less in 56 ca­reer Cup races, but he’s fifth in points in 2017.

“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,” the 21-year-old El­liott said. “He had a fast car to­day, and we’ll try to go get ’em next week.”

Joey Logano fin­ished third. He beat El­liott in last June’s race at MIS. Then El­liott was lead­ing the Au­gust race com­fort­ably be­fore a yel­low flag gave Lar­son a boost.

This time, there were three cau­tions to­ward the end. The first was for de­bris, and Lar­son beat Kyle Busch on the in­side for the lead on the restart with 15 laps to go.

Then Clint Bowyer went into the wall, bring­ing out another cau­tion flag. Lar­son was first off that restart, too, only to be slowed by another cau­tion af­ter a mul­ticar in­ci­dent on the back­stretch that in­cluded Dan­ica Pa­trick be­ing knocked off the track and into the wall.

Fi­nally, with five laps re­main­ing, the race restarted, and Lar­son took the lead on the out­side. He won by 0.993 sec­onds in his No. 42 Chevro­let.

Martin Truex Jr. won the first two stages of the race but fin­ished sixth, ced­ing the points lead to Lar­son. Truex has 10 stage vic­to­ries this year. No­body else has more than four.

Truex and Lar­son were 1-2 in the points stand­ings com­ing into the race, and Truex was sec­ond to Lar­son in qual­i­fy­ing Fri­day. Their dom­i­nance car­ried over to the race Sun­day, at least at the start. They were the only driv­ers to lead dur­ing the first half of the 200-lap, 400-mile race.

Denny Ham­lin, who won Satur­day’s Xfin­ity event, fin­ished fourth Sun­day, fol­lowed by Jamie McMur­ray and Truex. Busch ended up sev­enth, fol­lowed by Ricky Sten­house Jr. and Dale Earn­hardt Jr. Jim­mie John­son, who started at the back af­ter hav­ing to go to his backup car, fin­ished 10th.

This was the fifth time in the past eight races at Michi­gan that the pole win­ner also won the race. It has hap­pened three times in the Cup Se­ries this year — Lar­son also did it at Fon­tana, and Sten­house pulled it off at Tal­ladega last month.

Still, Lar­son didn’t feel he had the dom­i­nant car Sun­day.

“The 78 [ Truex] was by far the class of the field, I thought,” Lar­son said. “I thought the 18 [Busch] was next best, the 20 [Matt Kenseth] was bet­ter than I was on the long run. I thought we were prob­a­bly a third- or fourth­place car, and then to come out a win­ner, it makes it that much more ex­cit­ing, I guess.”

Lar­son’s three Cup vic­to­ries have all come at two-mile tracks, al­though there are some dif­fer­ences be­tween rac­ing at MIS and Fon­tana.


“All in all, it’s a good sea­son so far,” Kyle Lar­son said af­ter fin­ish­ing first for the sec­ond time this year.

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