Kyle Larson has taken himself and Chip Ganassi into uncharted territory with Sunday’s NASCAR Cup playoff win at Dover International Speedway.
Larson and Ganassi have never advanced to the third round of the Cup playoffs, but with Larson’s triumph – snapping a 75-race winless streak – they are now headed into the Round of 8 semifinals in three weeks.
Larson will not have to worry about his playoff hopes at either Talladega next Sunday or Kansas in two weeks as he’s locked in to the next round.
“Everybody is going to be stressing about Talladega next week but me,” Larson told NBCSN. “I’ve always wanted to win a Cup race here. I’ve been close a number of times, to get a golden Monster (Miles the Monster trophy is gold in celebration of this being the 50th Cup race on concrete and the 100th Cup race at Dover) is pretty sweet.”
Runner-up Martin Truex Jr. tried to catch Larson, but just didn’t have enough speed or time to do so.
Even though he finished runner-up in Sunday’s race at Dover, Martin Truex Jr. has assumed the top spot in the NASCAR Cup standings.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch — who was No. 1 in the points heading into Dover — and Denny Hamlin are tied for second, each 15 points behind Truex.
Kevin Harvick is fourth, 21 points back, while race winner Kyle Larson moves up to fifth, 32 points behind Truex. Brad Keselowski is sixth (-43) and Alex Bowman is seventh (-46).
At the bottom of the remaining playoff drivers spectrum are William Byron and Joey Logano, tied for eighth, each 63 points back, followed by 10th-ranked Clint Bowyer (-67), Chase Elliott (-70) in 11th and Ryan Blaney (-85) in 12th.