Los Angeles Times

Byron leads Hendrick contingent in Vegas


One way or another, a Hendrick Motorsport­s driver figured to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas.

Kyle Larson nearly won the Pennzoil 400 in regulation, but a late caution put teammate William Byron in position to capture the checkered flag in overtime.

Byron took the lead on the second-to-last lap of overtime to put an exclamatio­n mark on a dominant day for Hendrick.

The top three drivers were from Hendrick, with Byron, Larson and Alex Bowman pushing their Chevrolets across the finish line in that order. Bowman won last year’s March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Byron led 176 laps and won for the fifth time in six Cup seasons.

“I’ve led a lot of laps in a couple of races, but to be this good with this team is definitely a good sign,” he said. “It’s a different feeling for me having a team around me that can execute that well.”

Larson appeared headed to a win when Aric Almirola hit the wall in Turn 4 on Lap 264, leading to the second caution of the day.

Byron, who started in the first row with Joey Logano, swept both stages for the first time in his career.

Ericsson survives IndyCar opener

Jack Harvey was taken to a hospital for observatio­n and Helio Castroneve­s needed an ice pack and Xrays. A pair of cars went airborne, the leaders crashed each other and the entire Andretti Autosport fleet was eliminated.

Indianapol­is 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, meanwhile, won the season-opening IndyCar race. Pato O’Ward was second and Scott Dixon third.

Ericsson outlasted the carnage on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., for a surprise victory for Chip Ganassi Racing. It was the fourth career IndyCar win for the Swedish former Formula One driver.

Red Bull drivers are 1-2 in F1 opener

New season, another victory. Max Verstappen won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix from the pole position, leading almost the entire race as he began the defense of his back-to-back Formula One titles.

Red Bull also clinched a dominant 1-2 with Sergio Perez finishing 12 seconds behind him in second, while Fernando Alonso took a brilliant third place — and claimed a 99th career podium — on a stunning race debut for Aston Martin.

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