Kyle Larson holds off Chase Elliott to capture FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan
Talk about bookending: Kyle Larson started the race weekend by being fastest in practice, then qualified No. 1 and went on to win Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Larson has now won the last two Cup races at MIS, having scored his first career Cup win there last August.
Sunday’s win is the third career win for Larson, who won earlier this year at Fontana. That means Larson has won the last three races at NASCAR’s two 2-mile speedways.
Larson led a race-high 96 of 200 laps. The win also put him back into first place in the NASCAR Cup standings, overtaking Martin Truex Jr. Larson now leads Truex by five points.
“For us to withstand a few restarts there at the end with some tough competitors was pretty important,” Larson said in victory lane to FS1. “Cool to win it and a great Father’s Day present for myself, too.”
MORE: Results of Michigan 400
For the third consecutive race at MIS, Chase Elliott finished runner-up.
“From where we started the day to where we ended up, I was real proud of our effort,” Elliott told FS1. “I’m happy we could have a solid day, put ourselves into position ... had a couple opportunities to get the lead, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. We’ll move on ... and try to get ‘em next week.”
Joey Logano finished third, his best finish since his April 30 win at Richmond. In five races between Richmond and Michigan, Logano hadn’t finished higher than 21st.
Denny Hamlin finished fourth, followed by Larson’s teammate, Jamie McMurray. Sixth through 10th were Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson
Truex won both Stage 1 and 2, giving him 10 stage wins for the season. Kyle Busch is second with four stage wins.
HOW LARSON WON: On the final restart with five laps to go, Larson bumped fenders with Denny Hamlin going into Turn 1, regained the lead and then sailed away to victory lane. He also had the most dominant car of the day, leading almost half of the race.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Joey Logano broke his five-race run of poor performances with a third-place finish. Likewise for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished ninth to earn his third top-10 finish of the season.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Danica Patrick finished last in the 37-car field, but it was not her fault. She was involved in a late-race crash after Bubba Wallace ran into the rear of Daniel Suarez, who slammed into Patrick. Her Ford hit hard on the inside wall.
NOTABLE: Ryan Sieg finished 33rd in his first NASCAR Cup race. … Darrell Wallace Jr. finished 19th in his second career Cup race. … Trevor Bayne finished 17th and made a quick getaway as his wife is expected to give birth to the couple’s second child on Monday.
QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We’ve been so close to so many other wins. This is our second Cup win of the year, but we’ve had (five) second-place finishes. All in all a good season so far and we’ll continue to keep building on what we’ve got.” – Race winner Kyle Larson.
WHAT’S NEXT: The series goes west June 25 at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, the first of two road-course races.