Kyle Larson maintains momentum with top-three finish in 100th Sprint Cup start

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Kyle Larson‘s 100th Sprint Cup start wasn’t as flashy as his 99th, but the third-year driver put in his best-career finish at Darlington Raceway, ending the night in third in a car that failed post-race inspection.

A week after earning his first Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway, Larson had his No. 42 in a good position to win back-to-back races most of the night.

Larson started 16th, but had an average running spot of 7.64. By Lap 60, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver was in the top five.

“We had to work on our Target Chevy quite a bit there early in the night,” Larson said. “When the sun was out, it drove totally different. As the sun was going down, I could feel my car change and I was getting a little bit change looser and had to keep up with that, but we made some good adjustments.”

Larson returned to the top five permanently by Lap 240. He took the lead on a Lap 284 restart, passing Denny Hamlin and leading the next 45 laps, the second most of the season for Larson.

“Our short‑run speed was really good, especially out front,” said Larson who average a fourth-best speed of 167.402 mph early in runs. Late in runs, Larson had the ninth-best average at 157.453mph. “I struggled on the long runs with getting loose off. I was trying to take care of my rear tires as much as I could, but it seemed like nothing I did would help me on the long run.”

Larson eventually lost the lead in the pits, but was third on the final restart with 12 laps left, trailing Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 214 laps.

“Could have cleared myself up in front of Kevin through the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2, but left in that lane and kind of pinched myself down a little bit and didn’t get a good enough run down the backstretch as I needed,” Larson said. “(Harvick) was on my back bumper … and I thought if I went to the bottom I could kind of hold my own to exit, but Kevin nailed (Turns) 3 and 4 and was able to squeeze around me and get back to second.”

It left Larson with his third top-10 finish in as many starts at Darlington Raceway. It’s also the first time Larson has finished in the top five in consecutive races since 2014.

“It was good to be a contender two weeks in a row,” Larson said. “I thought maybe there was some things that could have gone our way to maybe get the win, but we’ll still take a third, build on our momentum leading up to the Chase, and hopefully have a good first round of that.”

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.