Kyle Larson may have just asserted himself as a true contender for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 had gone 75 races since his last victory in the series, but on Sunday he led an impressive 154 laps and he held off the hottest driver in the garage of late in Martin Truex Jr. to grab the win.
This is the sixth win of Larson’s Cup Series career, and it’s his first victory since September, 2017.
With the win, Larson automatically advances to the Playoffs Round of 8, the furthest a Chip Ganassi Racing car has ever made it in NASCAR’s Playoffs is the Round of 12.
Following Larson and Truex across the line was Alex Bowman in third. Bowman, who barely snuck into the Round of 12, now has back-to-back finishes of second and third.
Kevin Harvick finished in fourth.
Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led a race-high 219 laps, but he felt he had a motor going south. Luckily, his car was able to hold together for a solid fifth-place finish.
Kyle Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.
Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott were the Playoff drivers who finished outside the top-10 in the race.
Keselowski limped a sluggish No. 2 car to an 11th-place finish, while William Byron was able to salvage a 13th-place finish after a pit road speeding penalty in Stage 2.
Logano finished 34th, 25 laps off the pace after going behind the wall before the initial start of the race with a broken axle.
Blaney ended up 35th, 103 laps down after he lost his brakes and went behind the wall for repairs in the final Stage of the race. Blaney was a top-10 contender in the race before the brakes went away.
Elliott had the engine blow on his No. 9 car on lap eight. Elliott would finish dead-last.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
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