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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Larson notches another Michigan win

Kyle Larson celebrates in victory lane at Michigan International Speedway after winning the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 18, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Larson celebrates in victory lane at Michigan International Speedway after winning the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 18, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Larson led nearly half of the 200-lap FireKeepers Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Sunday, running up front for 96 laps en route to his second win of the season at the track where he claimed his first-career Cup Series win last August.
“I can’t thank these guys enough,” Larson said. “The Cars 3 Chevy was really, really fast, and it was cool to win it. What a great Father’s Day present for myself and all the other fathers out there. My dad is here today, too, so I’m looking forward to celebrating with him. We’ve been so close 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 good season, so far, and we’ll continue to keep building on what we’ve got.”
Chase Elliott finished second for the third time in three starts at MIS.
“I am really proud of our effort today,” Elliott said. “I thought we way improved from where we were last year, as far as those late-race restarts go and was able to hang with them and, really, just kind of rely on the guy behind you.”
Joey Logano was third and Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five.
Larson and Martin Truex Jr. combined to lead all but six of the first 150 laps of the race, with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski combining to lead those six during a cycle of green-flag pit stops during the second 60-lap stage of the race.
Truex won both of the two 60-lap stages that made up the first 120 laps of the race, both times taking the lead from Larson.
Larson started on the pole and led the first 34 laps before Truex got by him on lap 35 and went on to win the first stage. Larson got off pit road first during the caution between the first two stages to retake the lead. In the second stage, Truex took longer to take the lead from Larson, taking the top spot on lap 116, with four laps remaining in the stage.
Larson fell back at the start of the final 80-lap stage, dropping outside the top-five as Truex continued to lead.
Kyle Busch got off pit road first with a two tire stop during a yellow flag with 50 laps remaining. Truex took four and restarted fifth, dropping back to ninth on the restart.
“We had the best car out there, without a doubt,” Truex said. “Just inside-lane restarts at the end killed us, so just stings when you have to race like that, you know? You get just in a bad spot, and there’s nothing you can do about it. We seen it the last couple restarts, so just wrong place. Probably should have took two tires that last time we pitted; we took four. That killed us. Just wrong lane on the restart every single time all day long and couldn’t use the best car to win.”
Larson eventually got back up to second and then took the lead from Busch on a restart with under 20 laps remaining after getting a Busch from Ryan Blaney.
“Ryan Blaney gave me a heck of a push,” Larson said. “So I’ve really got to thank him a ton. I knew the Penske cars took off good, so I was happy to see him behind me. For us to withstand a few restarts there with some tough competitors, there, was pretty important.”
After assisting Larson to the lead, Blaney failed to get up to speed on another restart a few laps later, causing an accordian-type wreck that collected Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez and Danica Patrick.
Truex wound up sixth at the finish. Busch finished seventh, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ninth, and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-10.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on June 19, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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