Kyle Larson wins NASCAR’s opening playoff race at Darlington

related PressSep 3, 2023, 11:22 pm ETlearn 4 mins

DARLINGTON, SC – Kyle Larson led a number of laps round Darlington through the years, simply no longer the closing lap. He after all received the Southern 500 that Sunday.

Larson, the 2021 Cup Sequence champion, got here into the development after main for 715 occupation laps at the “Too Difficult to Tame” observe with out taking the checkered flag.

Larson stated, “It is a observe I in point of fact revel in, it fits my taste.” “I have not received but. It used to be just right to do it lately.”

Particularly as it propelled his No. 5 Chevrolet into the second one spherical of the NASCAR playoffs without reference to the place it completed within the two final first spherical races at Kansas and Bristol over the following two weeks.

Larson led the general 55 laps at Darlington for his first occupation win.

Larson persisted, “It’s glorious so as to add this trophy to the gathering.” “It is probably the most 3 or 4 crown jewels.”

Kyle Larson had come with reference to successful a number of instances in his earlier 11 Cup Sequence races at Darlington, however earned his first win on the observe Sunday evening.James Gilbert/Getty Photographs

Larson didn’t have the quickest automobile within the Southern 500, with just one automobile popping out at the proper time whilst the opposite contenders fell at the back of.

Denny Hamlin led a race-best 177 of 367 laps and appeared headed for victory, ahead of he felt a vibration and advised his workforce that there used to be a unfastened wheel and he needed to pit in consecutive laps.

Hamlin, who received the primary two phases, stated, “We managed the race till we had some bother.” “It is simply a part of it.”

Tyler Reddick led 90 laps, but misplaced the lead as Larson exited pit highway. Kevin Harvick, searching for his first win of the general season, challenged for the lead with lower than 60 laps final, however used to be penalized when he did not keep away from coming into the pits closed through NASCAR after a warning. Went.

Harvick may no longer get better from the penalty. He stated he did not have time to get again heading in the right direction ahead of the dedication line.

It used to be a a success race heading in the right direction for Larson after a number of shut calls. He had 3 seconds and two thirds in his closing 11 Cup Sequence races at Darlington. In Might, Larson used to be racing for the lead past due when he collided with Ross Chastain and completed twentieth.

Larson stated, “It is been certainly one of my favourite tracks in my complete occupation.” “I have been in point of fact rapid right here during my occupation, typically into the wall.”

The win used to be additionally the 299th ever for Hendrick Motorsports and the five hundredth motorsports victory for the Hendrick engine program.

Larson received for the 3rd time this season and received his 8th race in seven playoff appearances.

Cliff Daniels, workforce leader of the Larson No. 5 Chevrolet, stated he and his driving force have persevered a large number of distress at Darlington through the years and are satisfied to place an finish to it.

“This observe and this race had been on our calendar for a very long time,” Daniels stated.

The playoff drivers took the primary seven positions. Reddick used to be 2nd, adopted through Chris Bucher, William Byron, Chastain, Brad Keselowski, and Bubba Wallace.

Harvick completed nineteenth and Hamlin used to be twenty fifth. The remainder of the playoff box incorporated Kyle Busch in eleventh, Joey Logano in twelfth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in sixteenth, Martin Truex Jr. in 18th, pole-sitter Christopher Bell in twenty third, and Michael McDowell in thirty second.

Within the issues standings, Bell is twelfth at the playoff grid on the second one spherical playoff bubble. Drivers eradicated from the following spherical after this week are Wallace, Harvick, Stenhouse and McDowell.

Byrne, Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Truex’s co-top seed, entered the 12 months with a series-best 5 wins and used to be proud of the top end.

He stated, “I feel it is a smart decision for Kansas and just right to get a forged first race within the playoffs.”

Ryan Preece, the Stewart-Haas Racing driving force who had suffered a horrific crash at Daytona the former week, nonetheless got here away in large part unhurt, completing twenty eighth at Darlington in his go back to Cup racing.

Farewell, Commander

Darlington enthusiasts, drivers and workforce stated good-bye to trace president Kerry Tharp, who introduced his retirement previous this summer season after just about 20 years with NASCAR. Indicators celebrating Tharp’s eight-year tenure in control of Darlington had been up each outside and inside the ability. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster awarded Tharp the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s easiest civilian honor a governor can bestow.

Energy outage

NASCAR stopped the race for seven mins when some lighting in Turns 3 and four did not light up as the development moved from day to nighttime. The warning got here out when the groups noticed the lighting pass off, and NASCAR tried to mend the issue below the warning. When the lighting went up, the enthusiasts on the sold-out venue cheered and the vehicles had been quickly at the transfer once more. The issue got here from a switch transfer that used to be no longer getting sufficient voltage to activate. The problem didn’t come to mild all the way through lights trying out of the observe previous to the race weekend.


The second one of 3 opening spherical races within the NASCAR playoffs will happen on September 10 at Kansas Speedway. Wallace had received the development the 12 months ahead of, whilst Hamlin had received there in Might.

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