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.

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Denny Hamlin hopes teams don’t shoot selves in feet with pit guns

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Denny Hamlin is the hottest driver on the Cup circuit. He has two wins – including Saturday night at Bristol – as well as two runner-ups, and a third- and fifth-place finish in the last six races. He’s also moved up to third in the rankings in that string.

But Hamlin isn’t taking anything to chance, particularly some of the smallest details – such as loose lug nuts and wheels.

Hamlin appeared Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On-Track” show and was asked about how not only his team, but also other Cup teams, can overcome the loose lug nuts and wheels issues.

Hamlin said a significant part of the problem – particularly at a place like Bristol Motor Speedway – is pit guns, which are allocated and issued in a pre-race lottery by NASCAR, rather than have teams use their own guns.

MORE: Denny Hamlin earns hard-fought win over Matt DiBenedetto at Bristol

Hamlin does not like that system and explained why:

“(Bristol) puts probably some of the biggest loads we have on our tires. Truth be told, over the last two years since we’ve had these guns issued to us, they’re not capable of getting all the wheels tight, they really aren’t.

“It’s a lottery whether you get a gun that’s good enough to get ‘em tight. Through JGR, Stewart-Haas and other teams that have documented it, in the spring race there were over 20 loose wheels. This is not just a team thing. It’s just that the equipment is not quite up to par as far as what it’s capable of.

“We keep track of all the guns and how good they are and how bad they are. It’s a lottery system of whether you’re going to get (a good or bad one). It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you can hold the gun on there and it’s just not going to get the torque quite tight enough.”

Hamlin experienced a loose wheel that forced him to pit under green on Lap 186 of Saturday night’s race at Bristol, leaving him two laps behind the leaders. Hamlin had another loose wheel on Lap 374 and pitted while running 10th.

Thus far this season, in addition to several loose wheels in races, Hamlin’s team has also been penalized four times for loose lug nuts after races: Fontana, Bristol spring race, Chicagoland and the July race at Pocono.

This isn’t the first time Hamlin has publicly complained about pit guns and loose lug nuts and wheels.

NBC Sports has reached out to NASCAR for comment.

Check out what Hamlin said about that after Saturday night’s race in the video above (Hamlin talks about this issue starting around the 6:00 mark).

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Preliminary entry lists for Xfinity, Trucks this weekend

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While the NASCAR Cup Series will be off this weekend, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any racing.

On the contrary, the Xfinity Series will be racing Saturday at Road America and the Truck Series will compete Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here are the entry lists for both series:

Xfinity – CTECH Manufacturing 180 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

There are 39 cars entered.

Regan Smith will be in the No. 8 J.R. Motorsports Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger will drive the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Saturday’s Cup runner-up, Matt DiBenedetto, will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

There is no driver listed yet for the No. 117 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Chevrolet Silverado 250 (2:30 p.m. ET FS1)

There are only 28 Trucks listed for the entry list.

All seats are filled.

Click here for the entry list.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. thanks all who have ‘lifted us up’ since plane crash

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. issued his first public comments Monday since he and his family survived a plane crash last Thursday afternoon at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport.

Earnhardt offered thanks to “everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday. We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus.”

Earnhardt also thanked the pilots, emergency personnel, law enforcement and hospital staff.

He stated that wife “Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time.”

Earnhardt stated that because of the ongoing investigation “we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident.”

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected this week. Ralph Hicks, a senior investigator for the NTSB said in a briefing last Friday that “the airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right wing landing gear. You can actually see the right wing landing gear collapsing on the video (from nearby buildings). The airplane continued down the runway, off to the end, through a fence and came to a stop … on highway 91.”

Both pilots have been interviewed and Hicks stated that what they said was “very consistent” with what the video showed. Hicks also said investigators had talked to the Earnhardt family.

NASCAR America 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Recapping Hamlin’s Bristol win

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs on NBCSN at a special time, from 6-7 p.m. ET, and will recap Denny Hamlin’s win at Bristol.

Steve Letarte will be joined by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and A.J. Allmendinger to discuss Hamlin’s win and other storylines.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch online 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 for the special start time at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.