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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Larson wins to safe closing 4 playoffs place

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Larson needed to maintain off a number of contenders over six restarts within the closing 60 laps – and simply edged his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron by 0.459 seconds on the end to earn his series-leading eighth win of the 2021 season.

After profitable Stage 2, Larson continued to guide into the ultimate a part of the race, forward of the flurry of warning intervals that punctuated the ultimate a part of the race.

Chase Briscoe’s burst tyre introduced the lead runners into the pits, with Larson persevering with to guide, and the motive force of the #5 continued to bat away performs for the lead as Joey Logano’s engine expired, Kurt Busch and Chris Buescher made contact, and Anthony Alfredo’s automobile caught hearth after a conflict with Briscoe – which introduced out a quick pink flag.

As soon as the race resumed, Denny Hamlin sustained a tyre rub which ultimately grew to become flat, pitching him right into a spin to convey out one other warning interval.

Martin Truex Jr’s crash introduced out the penultimate warning, earlier than a battle between Briscoe, Buescher and Hamlin boiled over and produced the ultimate yellow flag interval – leaving Larson simply needing to carry on for the ultimate two laps to safe victory.

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This win within the semi-final spherical of the playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway locks Larson into the Championship 4 at Phoenix, no matter the place he finishes within the subsequent two races.

Larson, 28, has by no means beforehand had the chance to compete for the collection title beneath NASCAR’s playoff format.

The win is the 14th of Larson’s profession and first at Texas.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry, Ryan Blaney, Workforce Penske, Ford Mustang, Joey Logano, Workforce Penske, Ford Mustang

Picture by: Chris Graythen – Getty Photos

“Yeah, that is unreal,” Larson mentioned. “I knew we had an excellent shot to win at present. Our automobile was wonderful – that’s in all probability the very best 550hp package deal intermediate automobile we’ve had all 12 months. Due to everybody at this No. 5 group.

“That is so cool. We get to race for a championship. That is loopy.”

Requested about hanging on throughout seven restarts within the closing stage, Larson mentioned, “I received good pushes from behind, actually. Fortunately, I used to be simply barely capable of clear William each time into (Flip) 1 and never should combat off of (Flip) 2.

“It was superior. Hopefully, we will nonetheless get some extra wins the remainder of the 12 months.”

Larson mentioned regardless of being locked into the Championship, he doesn’t intend to “lose focus” on profitable at both Kansas or Martinsville.

“I like the West Coast. I like Phoenix,” he mentioned. “We’ve all the time been quick there. I believe we should always have an excellent shot. Our group has been so robust. Would possibly as effectively shut it out now.”

Behind second-placed Byron, Christopher Bell ended up ending third within the race – each drivers accompanying Larson within the high three having been knocked out of the playoffs within the earlier spherical.

Brad Keselowski was fourth as Kevin Harvick rounded out the highest 5, forward of Ryan Blaney.

Blaney’s final-round playoff hopes have been boosted together with his sixth-place end, sitting 17 factors forward of Chase Elliott within the cut-off zone – who completed seventh.

Stage 1 winner Kyle Busch crossed the road in eighth, forward of Tyler Reddick, as Daniel Suarez accomplished the highest 10.

With races at Kansas and Martinsville remaining within the semi-final spherical, the 4 drivers within the playoff standings in peril of lacking out at an opportunity to compete for the championship are Elliott, Keselowski, Truex and Logano.

NASCAR Cup Collection Texas race outcomes – 334 laps

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