Lar­son ends long drought

1st win in 76 races lifts him into next round of play­offs

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Dan Gelston

DOVER, Del. — Kyle Lar­son pulled away in the fi­nal stage and won the play­off race Sun­day at Dover In­ter­na­tional Speed­way to snap a 75-race win­less streak and earn an berth in the next round.

Lar­son had nine run­ner-up fin­ishes in the No. 42 Chevro­let since his last win Sept. 9, 2017, in Rich­mond, but got the cov­eted play­off vic­tory he needed at Dover to keep the Chip Ganassi Rac­ing driver in cham­pi­onship con­tention.

“I hope there’s an­other win in our fu­ture, es­pe­cially in the next round,” Lar­son said. “We’ll see what we can do. I’ve kept say­ing that I felt re­ally close to win­ning here or any­where right now. Our pit crew has been do­ing a bet­ter job, our team has been do­ing a bet­ter job. I’ve been do­ing a bet­ter job.”

Lar­son has six ca­reer Cup vic­to­ries and his first one in the play­offs. He led 154 laps late af­ter Denny Ham­lin went from dom­i­nant to dud mid­way through the race. Ham­lin led 219 laps be­fore fad­ing in race where play­off driv­ers Chase El­liott and reign­ing se­ries cham­pion Joey Logano both fell out of con­tention.

Mar­tin Truex Jr. won the spring race at Dover and didn’t have enough down the stretch to catch Lar­son and com­plete the sea­son sweep.

“We just ran out of time,” Truex said.

Lar­son did win the non­points All-Star race this year and felt like he was inch­ing closer to­ward a check­ered flag on the strength of a sen­sa­tional late-sum­mer run of top-10 fin­ishes. The 27-year-old es­caped the first round with­out any se­ri­ous drama and can now head to treach­er­ous Tal­ladega and then Kansas to end the se­cond round with­out any se­ri­ous con­cerns. He’s the first driver in the field of eight.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.