It’s been a long 75 races since Kyle Larson has last tasted victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. On Sunday, that drought ends. Larson, won the Drydene 400 at the Dover International Speedway for his first victory since Sept. 9, 2017 at the Richmond Raceway.
He was first off pit road at the end of the second stage and would lead 154 of the final 155 laps and now stamps his name into the Round of 8.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was a top three driver all day as he started second and finished third and second respectively in both stages. He just had that good of a car where he was flawless all afternoon.
Larson, has three top eight finishes in four playoff races this year and eight top eight finishes in his last nine starts overall. This was also his fifth top 10 finish in his last six Dover starts, four of which being in the top five. He was third back in May.
Larson, now has six career wins, all coming since 2016, which is tied with Chase Elliott in that same time frame and two shy of tying Jimmie Johnson.
Martin Truex Jr. backed up his May win with a runner-up on Sunday in his No. 19 Toyota. This was Truex’s sixth top four finish in his last seven Dover starts and third top two in four playoff races run thus far.
What cost Truex the win was his rear tire changer falling on his way to change his left rear tire on his second to last stop at the end of the second stage. That sent him from first to sixth which ended up being the reason why Truex wasn’t celebrating in victory lane.
Alex Bowman charged from 12th to finish third in his No. 88 Chevrolet. He was second back in May and second last weekend in Charlotte too. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has three top six finishes in four playoff races and looks like a legitimate contender to make the Round of 8.
Kevin Harvick was fourth back in May and was fourth again on Sunday in his No. 4 Ford while Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five in his No. 11 Toyota.
For Harvick, he has 10 top 10 eight finishes in his last 11 starts on the season including results of second, seventh, third and fourth respectively in the playoffs.
Hamlin, led 219 of the first 228 laps but had an engine lose some power in the final stage and relegated him to a fifth place run.
Some key playoff drivers had struggles. Joey Logano had a rear axel break before the race even started which cost him 23 laps in the garage for repairs. He’d finish 34th. Ryan Blaney lost his brakes on Lap 297 and would finish 35th.
The worse was Chase Elliott who blew an engine on Lap 8. He finished last in 38th. This was Elliott’s worst career finish at Dover as he moves to seven points behind the cutoff in 11th. Blaney, is 22 points out in 12th.