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Kyle Larson Emerges Victorious in Closest Finish in NASCAR Cup Series History

Kyle Larson wins at Kansas in photo finish AdventHealth 400 Chris Buescher 2024

Photo Credit: Harold Hinson, HHP for Chevy Racing

Well, short of an actual tie, we have officially seen it all, folks. Kyle Larson took the win in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway by what appears to be less than an inch over Chris Buescher in a thrilling photo finish.

The finish was so close that timing and scoring initially had Buescher as the winner, but after further inspection of the replay video, NASCAR determined that Larson narrowly crossed the line first in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

RELATED: Video: Kyle Larson Narrowly Takes Victory Over Chris Buescher with 0.001 Margin

Video: Kyle Larson Narrowly Takes Victory Over Chris Buescher With .000 Margin

Officially, the margin of victory was 0.001 sec., which is the closest finish in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series. Larson described what went through his mind in the overtime finish, where he restarted third, and rallied to get around a hungry Buescher for the race win.

“My car turned well. Was able to get some runs, and got through [Turns] 1 and 2 really good down the backstretch, and had a big tow on Chris and got him to kind of enter shallow,” Larson recalled. “And I just committed really hard up top, and wasn’t quite sure if we were going to make it out the other side. I got super loose in the center, and then we’re just trying to like — I’m trying not to get too far ahead of him to where he can side draft. Then, I was trying to kill his run. It was just crazy.”

Race Results: NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas

While it was a thrilling win for Larson, it was set up by a late caution for a spinning Kyle Busch on Lap 261. Prior to the caution coming out, Larson had radioed to his team that he felt he had a corded tire. The caution saved him from having to come to pit road alone, and it gave him the second-wind that he needed to win the race.

“That was wild. I was obviously thankful for that caution. We were dying pretty bad. And was happy to come out [of pit road] third, and figured my best shot would be to choose the bottom, and just try and split three-wide to the inside. And it worked out.”

This marks the second win of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season for Larson, and it is the 25th win of his career.

While it was ultimate elation for Larson, it was absolute heartbreak for Buescher, who came as close as he could possibly get to a sixth career win, without getting it.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” Buescher stated with misty eyes. “I haven’t seen a replay, just a picture. I sure can’t see it in that picture. That sucks to be that close…I still can’t see.”

While it wasn’t a win, Buescher was able to see the silver lining as the runner-up finish put an end to a four-race stretch of finishing 15th-or-worse.

“It was a great finish for us. Really strong day, a lot of speed in this Castrol Edge Ford Mustang. We really needed that,” Buescher explained. “Needed a win more. Thought we might of had that one. Had a lot of speed firing off really good. Really proud of that.”

As Larson and Buescher slammed into each other while coming to the finish line, the race nearly turned into a four-wide photo finish for the win as Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. were bearing down on the top-two. Officially, Elliott finished in third 0.060 sec. back, and Truex was 0.075 sec. back in fourth.

Denny Hamlin came home in fifth after leading a race-high 71 laps.

Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Noah Gragson, and Michael McDowell rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.

While the start of the race came under subdued circumstances due to a lengthy weather delay, the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway was action-packed from start to finish.

In all, the race featured 28 lead changes among 10 different drivers, and while the first half of the event featured no cautions for cause, only the two Stage break cautions, the final Stage made up for it with five cautions, three of them for multi-car incidents.

The first multi-car crash ensued on Lap 176 as Jimmie Johnson received a tap from behind from Corey LaJoie, which sent him spinning into the wall, and out of the race. Johnson would be credited with a last-place finish.

On Lap 185, Austin Cindric was sent for a ride after Denny Hamlin was run wide off of Turn 2 in a four-wide battle, which pinched Cindric into the outside wall. That sent Cindric spinning into Bubba Wallace and Michael McDowell, who both also spun.

Incredibly, 31 cars would finish on the lead lap in the race.

Race Results: NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas

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