Kyle Larson wins in overtime finish for third Michigan victory in a row
In a dramatic overtime finish, Kyle Larson forced his way around Martin Truex Jr. on a restart, making contact with him in the process before streaking away to win the Pure Michigan 400.
It is Larson’s third consecutive win at Michigan International Speedway and his third win of the year.
Completing the top five were Larson, Truex, Erik Jones, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne.
Originally scheduled to be a 200-lap race, the overtime finish added two laps to the event.
When asked how he pulled off the winning move by NBCSN, the 25-year-old driver said “I have no idea.
‘“I was running a few options through my head of what to do if I got a good jump,” Larson said. “That was one of them and it worked out perfect. I can’t believe it happened. We were struggling all day. Definitely not as good as the last two times we won here. We persevered and had some good restarts at the end.”
Larson later said it was “the most perfect restart of my life.”
All four of Larson’s Cup wins have come at 2-mile speedways.
Owner Chip Ganassi joined Larson on the start-finish line to celebrate, giving him a hug and a slap on the back.
“I want to thank him for finding me in 2011, bringing me up from USAC racing to race for him,” Larson said. “I want to thank all my fans as well. This has been an incredible week for me. To be able go run the Knoxville Nationals yesterday, run second to Donny Schatz and then come here and win, beat Martin Truex, who is a Donny Schatz right now. Definitely a week I’ll never forget.”
The win comes after Larson finished 23rd or worse in five of the last seven races. He also had two second-place finishes.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Brad Keselowski
STAGE 2 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.
WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Trevor Bayne’s top-five finish is his first of the year and just the fourth of his Cup career ... Ryan Newman earned his fifth top-five finish of 2017 and first top five at Michigan since August 2011 ... Chris Buescher finished sixth for his best result of the season and his third top 10 ... Austin Dillon finished seventh for his first top 10 since winning the Coke 600 in May ... Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski led a race-high 105 laps before finishing 17th.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Daniel Suarez and Kasey Kahne were involved in a hard crash on Lap 139 while exiting Turn 2. Kahne finished 38th and Suarez finished 37th. It is the first DNF for Suarez since the Daytona 500. … Clint Bowyer, one of the drivers on the playoff bubble, finished 23rd after losing a tire from a fender rub and having to pit on Lap 151. … Another bubble driver, Joey Logano lost his right-front tire with 15 to go and finished 28th, two laps down ... After being in the top five on the final restart, Matt Kenseth dropped to 24th before the checkered flag after cutting a tire.
NOTABLE: The last driver to win three races in a row at Michigan was NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. He won four straight from 1985-86.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If a guy screws up in front of you, you take advantage. So I screwed up and he took advantage, that’s the way it works.” - Martin Truex Jr after finishing second to Kyle Larson.
WHAT’S NEXT: Bass Pro Shops / NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 19 on NBC.