The winner of NASCAR’s Cup Series race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway left little chance at the track.
Kyle Larson led a race-best 103 laps and won with a 3.156-second win over former Nashik Cup Cup champion Brad Keselowski, his first win in two years to win the Penzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube .
Below is more about Larson’s win, as well as the full results of Sunday’s race.
Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Larsen, 28, of Elk Grove, California, became the fastest winner in Hendrick Motorsports’ long and respected history, picking up his flag bearer in only the fourth start in the team’s famed No. 5 Chevrolet.
It was a hard-earned and highly emotional victory for Larson, who missed most of last season’s suspension for using racially insensitive language. (Ed.: He was also fired by Chip Ganassi Racing for using the N-word at an iSourcing event.) NASCAR reinstated him offshine after following a course of rehabilitation and sensitivity training. He came into the season with Hendrick Motorsports opportunity, grateful and ready to cash in on himself.
More: Kyle Larson Suspension Timeline
Larson was speaking to the team on the radio, driving under the checkered flag as the race winner. He celebrated on the backstreet to celebrate and then in front of the flat stand again told his team on car radio, “What a car, what an opportunity. Thank you, guys.”
As Larson was finishing his live television interview, Keselowski ran on the Kafir grass to join Larsen’s hand and congratulated him for a powerful race performance.
“I’m really happy for him, I know he’s done a lot in the last year and he’s a good kid I’ve known for a while and his family is good and I’m happy to see him bounce back, “Said Keselowski.
Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the Cup Series, congratulated Larson after the race.
Bubba Wallace congratulated Kyle Larson after the Las Vegas race. Larsen: “It meant a lot that Bubba comes to Victory Lane.” pic.twitter.com/mdFv7ON4iF
– Bob Pokras (@bobpockrass) March 8, 2021
NASCAR Results from Las Vegas
It was a high level competitive flag on the green with 27 lead changes between 12 different drivers. Five drivers led at least 20 laps. Keselowski won Stage 1 and Larsen won Stage 2, winning the first leg for both drivers this season.
Overall, Larsen led the race-best six times, working to bring his Chevrolet back to the fore, no challenge, ultimately pacing the field for the last 30 laps en route to his seventh career victory. It is the first on the 1.5-mile track after finishing nine previous runners-up in the last one-and-a-half places.
“It was such a terrible car,” Larsen said. “(Chief of the crew) Cliff (Daniels) and everybody did a great job preparing this piece. It was so fun to drive. I could go wherever I wanted to. I know that one By the time we’ll get a kind of car.-Filed out; but drafting was tough in the early stages of the run.
“But Mr. Hendrick, Jeff Gordon and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports thank you very much for the amazing opportunity. Hendrick Motorsports thanks everyone at the Chevrolet engine shop. Thank you very much for all the hard work. This is it. Definitely special. “
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch – a Las Vegas native – and Denny Hamlin finished third and fourth, respectively. Ryan Blandy, the driver of Team Pancakes, was fifth, in his first top-10 of the season.
Hamlin and Keselowski, who are still looking for their first win of the 2021 season, sit in the championship point standings. Hamlin is ahead of Keselinowski by 38 points and Larsen is in third place.
|1 1||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
Holly Cann writes for NASCAR Wire Service. Tom Gatto contributed to this report.