Excellent restarts propel Kyle Larson to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series triumph in MI

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Source:   —  June 18, 2017, at 9:17 PM

In Sun’s FireKeepers Casino four hundred at MI International Speedway, Larson graduated with high honors, using a series of exceptional restarts to win his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season and his second in a row, dating to latest August, at the two-mile track in the Irish Hills.

Excellent restarts propel Kyle Larson to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series triumph in MI

Two weeks ago at Dover, Kyle Larson took a painful master class in restarts from Prof Jimmie Johnson.

In Sun’s FireKeepers Casino four hundred at MI International Speedway, Larson graduated with high honors, using a series of exceptional restarts to win his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season and his second in a row, dating to latest August, at the two-mile track in the Irish Hills.

At Dover, Larson lost a race in which he'd the dominant car when Johnson snookered him on a late restart and seized control of the race.

On Sun, with a powerful thrust from Ryan Blaney in the bottom lane during a restart on Lap one hundred eighty-six of two hundred, Larson, the polesitter cleared Kyle Busch for the lead through the first two corners and stayed out front the rest of the way—through two more fast cautions—to win for the third time in his career.

For everyone else, the bottom lane meant guaranteed lost positions, making Larson’s decisive restart all the more impressive—almost as impressive as his post-race burnout, as Larson spun his No. forty-two Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, laying rubber across Victory Lane.

“Yeah, Ryan Blaney gave me a heck of a push,” Larson said of the decisive restart that helped earn his third career victory. “So I’ve really got to thank him a ton. I knew the Penske cars took off good, so I was pleased to look him behind me. For us to withstand a few restarts there with some tough competitors there was beautiful important. I can’t thank these guys enough.”

Larson said that, though restarts are quite different at MI than they're at Dover, he studied video of the Dover race and learned from the experience.

“I definitely watched the replay,” Larson said. “We looked at Jimmie's driver data versus mine from the final restart at Dover, learned a small bit from that stuff.

“Honestly, I knew what I did incorrect as soon as we took the green at Dover. But, yeah, here at Michigan, it's different. You've a long straightaway. The frontstretch at Dover is beautiful bumpy, so it's tough to obtain grip. It's not tough to obtain grip here at Michigan. It's kind of just a drag race.”

The disagreement was that, on Sunday, it was a drag race Larson won.

Nor was the occasion lost on Larson, who's been bringing his two-year-old son Owen to press conferences of late.

“What a grand Father’s Day present for myself and all the other fathers out there,” Larson said. “My dad is here today, too. So I’m looking forward to celebrating with him. We’ve been so near to so many other wins. This is our second Cup win of the year, but we’ve had six second-place finishes. All-in-all, it’s a excellent season so distant and we’ll continue to hold building on what we’ve got.”

Both Sunday’s triumph and Larson’s win at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) in March came from the pole, and all three of his triumphs have arrive on two-mile tracks.

Larson got to the finish line .993 seconds ahead of Chase Elliott, who, love third-place finisher Joey Logano, felt he got the most out of his car.

“From where we started the day to where we ended up, I was really pleased of our effort,” Elliott said. “I really think we over-achieved today from what we'd on Friday and Saturday, and even latest night, I was getting a tiny nervous about how the day was going to go.

“So I’m pleased that we could've a solid day and keep ourselves in position and kind of rely on some late-race restarts. We'd a couple of opportunities to obtain the lead. And, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. But we’ll move on. Congratulations to Kyle (Larson). He'd a quick car today and we’ll attempt to go obtain ‘em next week.”

Star-crossed Kyle Busch had a one.four-second lead when NASCAR called a caution on Lap one hundred eighty because of debris in Turn two. After Larson passed him for the lead on the Lap one hundred eighty-six restart, Busch ultimately faded to seventh at the finish, still searching for his first triumph of the season.

Denny Hamlin restarted beside Larson on Lap one hundred ninety-six but lost the third-place battle to Logano. Jamie McMurray, Larson’s teammate, ran fifth. Martin Truex Jr. came residence fifth despite leading sixty-two laps (second only to Larson’s ninety-six) and was victimized by a succession of late-race restarts in the bottom lane.

Though Truex won both the first and second 60-lap stages and increased his stash of playoff points to a series-leading twenty, Larson regained the lead in championship points by five over Truex. Kyle Busch is one hundred thirty points back in third place.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson completed the top ten.

Notes: Johnson started from the rear of the field because he went to a backup car after a crash in practice… Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch also were sent to the rear for the start because of unapproved body modifications before the race. Busch finished twelfth and Harvick fourteenth, the latter after late-race contact with Ryan Blaney during a four-wide dust-up on the backstretch.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Results FireKeepers Casino four hundred

MI International Speedway

Brooklyn, Michigan

Sunday, June eighteen, two thousand seventeen

one. (one) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 200.

two. (ten) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 200.

three. (seven) Joey Logano, Ford, 200.

four. (five) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 200.

five. (eight) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200.

six. (two) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 200.

seven. (four) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 200.

eight. (twenty-one) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 200.

nine. (seventeen) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 200.

ten. (thirteen) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 200.

eleven. (nine) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 200.

twelve. (fifteen) Kurt Busch, Ford, 200.

thirteen. (fourteen) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 200.

fourteen. (eleven) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 200.

fifteen. (nineteen) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200.

sixteen. (twelve) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200.

seventeen. (twenty-seven) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200.

eighteen. (twenty-five) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 200.

nineteen. (twenty-six) Darrell Wallace Jr.(i), Ford, 200.

twenty. (thirty-seven) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 200.

twenty-one. (sixteen) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200.

twenty-two. (thirty) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200.

twenty-three. (twenty-two) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 200.

twenty-four. (twenty) Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 200.

twenty-five. (six) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 200.

twenty-six. (three) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 200.

twenty-seven. (eighteen) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 199.

twenty-eight. (twenty-eight) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 199.

twenty-nine. (twenty-nine) David Ragan, Ford, 198.

thirty. (thirty-two) * Corey LaJoie #, Toyota, 197.

thirty-one. (thirty-three) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 197.

thirty-two. (thirty-six) Landon Cassill, Ford, 196.

thirty-three. (thirty-one) Ryan Sieg(i), Toyota, 196.

thirty-four. (thirty-four) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 195.

thirty-five. (thirty-five) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 195.

thirty-six. (twenty-four) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 194.

thirty-seven. (twenty-three) Danica Patrick, Ford, Accident, 190.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 143.369 mph.

Time of Race: two Hrs, forty-seven Mins, twenty-four Secs. Edge of Victory: 0.993 Seconds.

Caution Flags: eight for thirty-four laps.

Lead Changes: 10 among four drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Larson one-34; M. Truex Jr. 35-sixty-two; K. Larson 63-108; Kyle Busch 109-112; B. Keselowski 113-114; K. Larson one hundred fifteen; M. Truex Jr. 116-126; Kyle Busch one hundred twenty-seven; M. Truex Jr. 128-150; Kyle Busch 151-185; K. Larson 186-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson 4 times for ninety-six laps; M. Truex Jr. three times for 62 laps; Kyle Busch three times for forty laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for two laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 78.42.18.11.20.14.21.24.22.48

Stage #two Top Ten: 78.18.42.20.14.4,11.41.24.2

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