Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Perfects Final Restart for 3rd Straight Michigan Win

He waited until the end.

Restarting fourth on the first attempt at NASCAR Overtime Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, Kyle Larson perfected a four-wide pass on Martin Truex Jr. to score the win in the Pure Michigan 400.

Leading only the final two laps, Larson scored a third consecutive win at Michigan.

“I have no idea,” Larson said of the final restart move. “I was running a few options through my head, that was one of them. I can’t believe that happened. We were struggling all day. We persevered and had a great restart at the end.”

Truex was the victim of the high-flying move from Larson, as the No. 78 came home second, 0.310 behind the No. 42.

“I tried to do a little something different there,” Truex said of the final restart. “[Larson] hit me, I went and spun the tires. He got a run, I went into Turn 1 with just chattering tires. Sometimes, these things just don’t work out.”

Winning a 15th stage, Truex finished one spot ahead of Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones, who tied a career-best Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series result in third.

Matt Kenseth lost valuable points in the final restart. (Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

“[Truex and I] were really in our own league there for a lot time,” Jones said. “We were matching lap times. I really thought it’d be whoever was out front would win. Unfortunately, neither of us got it done.”

Though it was a fairly clean race Sunday afternoon, the race had multiple drivers contend up front, with others battling close among the top 15. Brad Keselowski led a race-high 105 of 200 laps from pole, eventually finishing 17th after a late strategy shuffle.

Another driver whose race turned upside down late was Matt Kenseth, the winless driver who restarted third, suffered a flat tire in Turn 1 and hit the wall off Turn 2. Dropping to finish 24th, Kenseth is now only 31 points above the cutoff zone for the playoffs.

Another driver in a troubling playoff situation is Daniel Suarez, who wrecked out hard with Kasey Kahne on Lap 138, ending his day in 37th. The result is the rookie’s first DNF since the Daytona 500, ending a streak of four top-10 finishes in a row.

“I was just trying to hold my line,” Suarez said, after turning into Kahne’s right rear as the No. 5 was attempting a pass in Turn 2. “He went up a little too soon for me. I was trying to give him room.”

Ryan Newman grabbed his fifth top five of 2017 in fourth with Trevor Bayne earning his first top five of the season in fifth.

Chris Buescher finishing sixth in his best finish of the year followed by Austin Dillon with his first top 10 since his Coca-Cola 600 triumph in May. Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.

About the author

zcatanzareti

Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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