Kyle Larson has a sensational season with a NASCAR Cup Series championship on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway.
One last race for four drivers to fight over one championship. It all takes place at Phoenix Raceway. 312 laps on a track that races just like a short track but can be way meaner. Drivers often have issues dealing with the high temperatures. Whether it is the slick racing surface, the resin to add grip, or brake issues, Phoenix Raceway always gives drivers problems.
Kyle Larson Takes the Pole
Kyle Larson was fastest in qualifying over the weekend, and he started on the pole. The race was not under the green flag for long as Bubba Wallace and Corie Lajoie caused the first incident of the afternoon.
Shortly after the restart, Corey Lajoie spun out and brought out another caution. Ryan Blaney restarted with the lead, and he set the pace midway through the first stage.
Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. charged through the field. He made the pass on Ryan Blaney coming all the way from sixth place. Truex Jr. continued to increase his lead and won the first stage by over two seconds.
Chase Elliott Takes the Lead to Start the Second Stage
Chase Elliott cycled into the lead during the stage break. 37 laps into the second stage, Martin Truex Jr made the pass on Elliott and returned to the lead.
Just after Truex’s pass for the lead, Quin Houff lost a tire and spun into the wall. Chase Elliott moved back into the lead under caution. Elliott led about twelve laps before being passed by Kyle Larson.
Larson was unable to pull away as Elliott stayed right on his bumper. Chase Elliott was unable to make a move for the lead and had to settle for second place in the second stage. Kyle Larson picked up the stage win.
Kyle Larson Leads Off the Third Stage
Kyle Larson continued to lead into the final stage of the race, and he had the rest of the championship contenders bearing down on him. All four drivers were within a second of one another throughout the long green-flag run. Nobody was able to make a pass on Larson as Anthony Alfredo brought out the late caution.
Martin Truex Jr. restarted with the lead coming out of the caution, and the race was on. For another 30-lap run, no one would give an inch. With thirty laps remaining, a debris caution came out. All the leaders came to pit road one final time.
Kyle Larson and his team had a fantastic stop. He gained three spots coming off pit road and had the lead. Larson led the field to the green flag.
Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin seemed to fade off as the race wound down. The race was between Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson. Truex Jr. was not backing off, but he was could not find a position to make a run for the lead.
For thirty laps, Kyle Larson had to hold his ground. Kyle Larson did exactly that and took the checkered flag winning his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Kyle Larson has a Sensational Season with a NASCAR Cup Series Championship
Kyle Larson said it best in his post-race interview. Emotionally said that he did not know if he would ever race again coming into this year. Well, he had a tremendous comeback.
This season, Kyle Larson racked up ten total wins. Out of 36 races, he had 26 top-ten finishes. 20 of these finishes were in the top five. To do all of this, and cap it off with a championship is an incredible feat. Kyle Larson earned it this year.
Many have claimed him to be the best driver they have ever witnessed. Larson has a lot of natural talent, and it has been on display for years. The scary part is that he is not even 30 years old yet. Hopefully, Kyle Larson will continue to put up great numbers for many years to come.