Larson passes Allgaier on last lap to win Toyota Care 250 at Richmond

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Kyle Larson was in the right place at the right time when the yellow caution flag came out in overtime to win Saturday’s Toyota Care 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Larson passed Justin Allgaier just before reaching the overtime line on the final lap on the back straightaway, just before a mid-pack wreck brought out the seventh and final caution flag, which the race finished under.

While Allgaier was the most dominant driver in the race, leading 157 laps, Larson led just 10 laps in the race. It was his second Xfinity win this season.

“I’m surprised I cleared Justin (Allgaier) on two,” Larson told Fox Sports 1 of the final lap. “I thought he would hang on my outside or pass me.

“Thankfully we were able to clear him, then had the caution and I got the overtime win. We didn’t have the best car at all, Justin was by far the best.

“I’m not good at this place so to get a win is pretty neat.”

MORE: Race results from Toyota Care 250 Xfinity Series race at Richmond

MORE: Sadler remains No. 1 in Xfinity standings; Allgaier climbs to 2nd, Byron drops to 3rd

The race was scheduled for 250 laps; it went four extra laps before Larson was awarded the win in the extended 254-lap race.

Even though Allgaier was disappointed that he finished second, he could take some comfort in winning his second of the first three 2017 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races and the $100,000 bonus.

“To win $100,000 is something we set out to do when we got here this weekend,” Allgaier told Fox Sports 1. “Unfortunately there at the end, the best car doesn’t always win the race.

“It’s just really disappointing. These guys deserved (a win). It’s very bittersweet, I’m very dejected, I’m not going to lie to you. This one hurts and it’s going to hurt for a long time.”

After the 1-2 Larson-Allgaier finish, pole-sitter Daniel Hemric finished third, followed by Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr., Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett, Casey Mears and Spencer Gallagher.

Austin Dillon won Stage 1, while Allgaier won Stage 2 before the final 100-lap sprint to the checkered flag.

This is the third of four Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races. The final race will be at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, June 3.

The first two Dash 4 Cash winners this season have been Allgaier (Phoenix) and Daniel Hemric (last week at Bristol).

Kyle Benjamin, who made his Xfinity Series debut Saturday, had a decent race going until he was involved in a late-race crash with five laps to go in regulation that also included Brennan Poole, William Byron, Harrison Rhodes and Daniel Suarez.

The race was red-flagged for about five minutes to remove cars from the track as well as clean up the damage.

HOW LARSON WON: Larson admitted Allgaier had the best car in the field, but got a break on the final restart, fortuitously passed Allgaier in Turn 2, and passed the overtime line just in time before the field was frozen due to a mid-pack wreck that resulted in Larson taking the win.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Allgaier won his second $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus, but lamented that he did not win the race. … Daniel Hemric continues to improve and show great promise. Not only did he start from the pole, he finished third.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Benjamin looked like he would have a decent top-20 finish in his first career Xfinity start, but was involved in a multi-car wreck late in the race and finished 32nd. … Also having a rough day was Brendan Gaughan, who finished 35th.

NOTABLE: Darrell Wallace Jr. has now finished sixth in six of his last seven races.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m not good at this place so to get a win is pretty neat.” – Race-winner Kyle Larson

WHAT’S NEXT: Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway, Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m. ET.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Daniel Hemric gets unexpected introduction to Cup car at Charlotte road course test (video)

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Being a native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, a lot of Daniel Hemric‘s racing firsts are connected to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 26-year-old Xfinity Series driver got another one this week when an unexpected call shortened a vacation to Mexico and put him in a Cup car for the first time.

Hemric, who drives Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet in his rookie season, was visiting the country as part of a birthday vacation for his wife, Kenzie.

“As soon as the wheels touched down I got a call from some guys a RCR asking ‘Hey, would you mind driving a Cup car Tuesday at a test?'” Hemric said Wednesday.

“Do I need to fly home right now or what?” Hemric responded.

Come Tuesday morning, Hemric was sitting in the cockpit of Ryan Newman‘s No. 31 Chevrolet as one of four drivers taking part in the first Goodyear tire test on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, a 2.42-mile, 18-turn circuit made up of most of the original 1.5-mile track and the infield road course.

MORE: Cup drivers share thoughts on Charlotte road course

The two-day test could give Hemric a step up on his Xfinity competition as the series also will run on the road course next year.

“The first two or three runs was about getting me acclimated (to the car) but since then I think we’ve done a good job of communicating with Goodyear and trying to figure what we need to be able to make sure fans will be able to see racing and side-by-side racing and a lot of action, which I think you’re going to see.”

Added Hemric: “These Cup cars get up to speed so quick compared to the Xfinity car, with such low downforce and high horsepower. It’s been fun to figure out how to get that laid down here around the roval.”

Luckily, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Jamie McMurray were all experiencing the road course for the first time.

“Obviously, being my first time in (a Cup car), you’re trying to be aware of what you’re doing yourself,” Hemric said. “But to be able to lean on those guys, have the same thoughts as them, really collaborate with NASCAR and the race track to figure out where we should place those chicanes and all that stuff. I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress working as a group.”

MORE: Daniel Hemric returning to RCR in 2018

 

Spencer Boyd will compete in Xfinity full-time in 2018 for SS Green Light Racing

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SS Green Light Racing announced Thursday Spencer Boyd will compete full-time for it next season in the Xfinity Series.

Boyd will drive the No. 76 Chevrolet sponsored by Grunt Style, a veteran-owned lifestyle brand.

Boyd, 22, has made four starts for the team this year in the No. 07 Chevrolet, which has primarily been driven by Ray Black Jr.

“This is the day I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Boyd said in a press release.  “I’ve been racing something since I was 5 years old with the dream of making racing my career. Grunt Style has made my dreams come true.”

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Boyd has 12 starts between the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series. In six Xfinity starts, including the four this year, his best result is 27th at New Hampshire.

Jason Miller will serve as the crew chief on the car that is owned by Bobby Dotter. Dotter has fielded cars in 116 races in the Xfinity Series since 1995 and 305 Truck Series entries since 2004.

“(Spencer) is one of the hardest working drivers I’ve seen,” Dotter said in the press release. “He is at the shop everyday helping with the cars and making the guys laugh.  Our organization is better because the team believes it when he says this is a team sport.  We are looking forward to a great 2018 season.”