Kyle Larson wins Cup regular-season finale at Richmond in overtime finish

0 Comments

Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season finale at Richmond Raceway in an overtime finish.

Larson won after a caution came out just following the white flag. Denny Hamlin, running in third, made contact with Martin Truex Jr., who crashed into the Turn 1 wall (see video below).

Truex had been leading the race until a caution came out for Derrike Cope with four laps to go. Larson was first off pit road. Truex, the regular-season champion, led 198 laps.

“I’ve got the greatest team out here and definitely the best pit crew,” Larson told NBCSN. “That showed tonight. I can’t thank those guys enough. They were money all night long to gain spots. This win is a huge congrats to them”

The win is Larson’s fourth of the year. It’s his first Cup win at a track shorter than 2 miles.

“(Truex) was definitely the best,” Larson said. “I thought I was second-best for most of the run. Would fall off late in the run. Came down to the final restart and I got a good start. Spun my tires really bad and was a little nervous. But we cleared him into (Turn) 1.”

The top five were Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.

Truex finished 20th.

“We both drove in really, really deep and when I got on the brakes the splitter slammed down on the ground and shot me up the track into him,” Hamlin told NBCSN. “It’s unfortunate. I didn’t want to get into him. He’s a great teammate of ours.”

Said Truex to NBCSN: “Tonight sucked, plain and simple. Just the way it ended up. You’re out there dominating like that and you know your car is not very good on restarts for a couple of laps. Caution for a guy that shouldn’t even be out there. It’s ridiculous. … It’s unfortunate the way the race ended.” On Hamlin: “We talked and I know he didn’t do it on purpose. … I gave him room and he was aggressive on the brakes. That stuff happens.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Busch

STAGE 2 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.

MORE: The 16 drivers in the Cup playoffs

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Kurt Busch earned his third top five in a row … Jimmie Johnson finished eighth for his best finish since winning at Dover in June. He had not finished better than 10th since … Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a season-high 13 laps and finished 13th. He failed to make the playoffs … Daniel Suarez finished seventh for his ninth top 10. He’s finished seventh six times.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth saw his race end on Lap 257 after running into the back of Clint Bowyer as the field came to pit road as they tried to avoid an ambulance that was at the pit entrance. He finished 38th … In addition to the pit accident, Bowyer was called for an uncontrolled tire on his last pit. He finished 24th … Landon Cassill’s night ended on Lap 33 when he lost a tire and hit the wall. He finished last.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I’m more mad about all that than I am losing.” – Martin Truex Jr. on the late-race caution involving Derrike Cope with four laps left as Truex led.

NEXT: Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 17 on NBCSN