Kyle Larson wins in overtime finish for third Michigan victory in a row

3 Comments

In a dramatic overtime finish, Kyle Larson forced his way around Martin Truex Jr. on a restart, making contact with him in the process before streaking away to win the Pure Michigan 400.

It is Larson’s third consecutive win at Michigan International Speedway and his third win of the year.

Completing the top five were Larson, Truex, Erik Jones, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne.

Originally scheduled to be a 200-lap race, the overtime finish added two laps to the event.

When asked how he pulled off the winning move by NBCSN, the 25-year-old driver said “I have no idea.

‘”I was running a few options through my head of what to do if I got a good jump,” Larson said. “That was one of them and it worked out perfect. I can’t believe it happened. We were struggling all day. Definitely not as good as the last two times we won here. We persevered and had some good restarts at the end.”

Larson later said it was “the most perfect restart of my life.”

All four of Larson’s Cup wins have come at 2-mile speedways.

Owner Chip Ganassi joined Larson on the start-finish line to celebrate, giving him a hug and a slap on the back.

“I want to thank him for finding me in 2011, bringing me up from USAC racing to race for him,” Larson said. “I want to thank all my fans as well. This has been an incredible week for me. To be able go run the Knoxville Nationals yesterday, run second to Donny Schatz and then come here and win, beat Martin Truex, who is a Donny Schatz right now. Definitely a week I’ll never forget.”

The win comes after Larson finished 23rd or worse in five of the last seven races. He also had two second-place finishes.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Brad Keselowski

STAGE 2 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Trevor Bayne’s top-five finish is his first of the year and just the fourth of his Cup career … Ryan Newman earned his fifth top-five finish of 2017 and first top five at Michigan since August 2011 … Chris Buescher finished sixth for his best result of the season and his third top 10 … Austin Dillon finished seventh for his first top 10 since winning the Coke 600 in May … Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski led a race-high 105 laps before finishing 17th.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Daniel Suarez and Kasey Kahne were involved in a hard crash on Lap 139 while exiting Turn 2. Kahne finished 38th and Suarez finished 37th. It is the first DNF for Suarez since the Daytona 500. … Clint Bowyer, one of the drivers on the playoff bubble, finished 23rd after losing a tire from a fender rub and having to pit on Lap 151. … Another bubble driver, Joey Logano lost his right-front tire with 15 to go and finished 28th, two laps down … After being in the top five on the final restart, Matt Kenseth dropped to 24th before the checkered flag after cutting a tire.

NOTABLE: The last driver to win three races in a row at Michigan was NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. He won four straight from 1985-86.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If a guy screws up in front of you, you take advantage. So I screwed up and he took advantage, that’s the way it works.” – Martin Truex Jr after finishing second to Kyle Larson.

WHAT’S NEXT: Bass Pro Shops / NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 19 on NBC.

Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chase Briscoe earned his first Camping World Truck Series victory in Friday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

And while finishing second is supposed to be the first loser, it wasn’t for Christopher Bell, whose runner-up showing clinched the 2017 Truck Series championship for him.

Click here for the full results from Friday’s race.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

 

Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christopher Bell won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200, with all four Championship 4 drivers finishing within four points of each other.

Bell finished with 4,035 points, 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter finished second in the standings with 4,034 points, rookie Austin Cindric finished third (4,032) and two-time series champ Matt Crafton finished fourth (4,031).

Click here for the final 2017 season driver standings.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

Christopher Bell wins Truck title, Chase Briscoe earns first career series win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The first champion of the NASCAR Championship Weekend was crowned Friday night as Christopher Bell earned his first Camping World Truck Series title.

Chase Briscoe won the race, the Ford EcoBoost 200, leading a race-high 77 laps in the 134-lap event, while Bell captured the championship by finishing second.

“It’s a dream come true,” Bell told FS1. “These trucks are so good and they pay so much attention to all the detail that goes into these things, and that’s what makes these Tundras so fast. I’m just speechless.”

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

Bell, an Oklahoma native who turns 23 on Dec. 16, has already been announced to drive next season in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He ends the 2017 Truck campaign with five wins and 21 top-10s in 23 Truck races.

“To be see Christopher be able to mature and grow … it just goes to show these guys develop and we do a good job of developing these guys,” team owner Kyle Busch told FS1. “Erik Jones won our first driver’s championship and now with Christopher Bell bringing home our second, it just continues to solidify our legacy.”

Briscoe, who also turns 23 one day before his good friend Bell, helped send Brad Keselowski Racing out on a high note. BKR is closing after this season.

“This is a long time coming,” Briscoe told FS1. “I’m so proud of these guys to know they’re not going to have job next year, yet they continue to bring real good trucks even though we were outside of the playoffs. … For those guys to continue to believe in me, I’m so blessed and thankful.”

Briscoe was also named Truck Series Rookie of the Year.

Team owner Brad Keselowski, who will be vying for the NASCAR Cup championship on Sunday, told FS1 about Briscoe: “He has a big, bright future ahead of him and along with (BKR teammate) Austin Cindric and I’m just happy to play a role and help him out.”

The other Championship 4 contestants that came up short were 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter (finished third), Austin Cindric (fifth) and Matt Crafton (sixth).

STAGE WINNERS: Stage 1 (Christopher Bell), Stage 2 (Ben Rhodes)

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Cindric showed a lot of mettle while running near the front much of the race. Not bad for a 19-year-old rookie. … Bell did exactly what he needed to do to win the title: finish ahead of his other three challengers.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Noah Gragson had a rough night, finishing 18th, three laps behind the leaders.

NOTABLE: Toyota earned its fifth consecutive Truck Manufacturers Championship, and 10th overall in the last 14 seasons. … With the exception of the two cautions between stages, there were no other cautions caused from on-track action.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This whole organization, this whole team has been so good for so many years, you just don’t want to be that guy to let them down – and I’m really glad I didn’t let them down tonight.” – 2017 Truck Series champ Christopher Bell (via FS1).

WHAT’S NEXT: The 2017 season has concluded. The next race is the 2018 NextEra Energy Resources 250, Friday February 16, Daytona International Speedway.

Starting lineup for Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Cup title race

Getty Images
Leave a comment

After making contact with both the outside wall and Chase Elliott last Sunday at Phoenix, Denny Hamlin failed to advance to Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But that didn’t stop Hamlin — who has two career wins at the South Florida 1.5-mile track — from earning his second career pole for Sunday’s race.

Martin Truex Jr. — who has six wins on 1.5-mile tracks in his seven overall victories this season — was the highest qualifying Championship 4, starting on the front row alongside Hamlin.

The other Championship 4 drivers qualified third (Kyle Busch), fifth (Brad Keselowski) and ninth (Kevin Harvick).

Click here for the starting lineup for Sunday’s race.