One method or one other, a Hendrick Motorsports driver figured to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas.
Kyle Larson almost gained the Pennzoil 400 in regulation, however a late warning put teammate William Byron in place to seize the checkered flag in extra time.
Byron took the lead on the second-to-last lap of OT to place an exclamation mark on a dominant day for Hendrick. The high three drivers had been from Hendrick, with Byron, Larson and Alex Bowman pushing their Chevrolets throughout the end line in that order.
Bowman gained final yr’s March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Byron led 176 laps and gained for the fifth time in his six Cup seasons.
“I’ve led loads of laps in a few races, however to be this good with this crew is unquestionably a very good signal,” Byron mentioned. “It’s a special feeling for me having a crew round me that may execute that properly. That’s only a crew effort.”
Larson appeared headed for victory when Aric Almirola hit the wall in flip 4 on lap No. 264, resulting in the second warning of the day.
“I really feel like I might have eight or 10 extra Cup wins if it wasn’t for cautions within the final 5 laps,” Larson mentioned. “I do not keep in mind lots of these figuring out in my favor.”
Most of the leaders pitted a lap later, with solely Martin Truex Jr. in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota selecting to remain out. Byron, within the No. 24 Chevy, got here out of pit street forward of Larson after which simply overtook Truex after the restart.
Byron, who began within the first row with Joey Logano, swept each phases for the primary time in his profession. Truex in 2017 and Kevin Harvick in 2018 additionally gained each phases in Las Vegas and went on to win.
ELLIOTT TO BEGIN REHAB
Chase Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion, will start bodily remedy Monday, his crew proprietor Rick Hendrick instructed Fox Sports.
Elliott had surgical procedure Friday to restore a fractured tibia, and Hendrick mentioned Elliott has returned to his residence in Dawsonville, Georgia. Elliott was injured in a snowboarding accident Friday. He and his household personal a house in Vail, Colorado.
Elliott joked on Twitter “that the formal request I submitted for a slight edit to the March part of my script was certainly… declined.”
MEET THE AMERICAN WHO CREATED NASCAR: BILL FRANCE SR., DAYTONA SPEED DEMON AND RACETRACK PIONEER
“In all seriousness, the help I’ve obtained during the last couple of days is much larger than I deserve,” he posted in a follow-up tweet. “I wish to thank everybody who has lended it over in any kind!”
Josh Berry took Elliott’s seat within the No. 9 Chevy and completed twenty ninth. Hendrick common supervisor Jeff Andrews mentioned a choice can be made on who drives that automobile subsequent weekend at Phoenix.
DEFENDING CHAMP HITS WALL
Logano, the defending Cup champion who gained the Las Vegas race in October, hit the wall in in flip 4 on lap No. 183, ending his day. He was operating three-wide with Brad Keselowski within the center and Kyle Busch on the apron when Logano ran into Keselowski, sending his Team Penske No. 22 Ford into the wall.
“I’m certain (Keselowski) didn’t imply to do it,” Logano mentioned. “What are you going to do, proper? We obtained fenced.”
It was a tricky day throughout for Logano, who was operating fifteenth after beginning on the pole.
“Considering how we’ve been right here up to now, you form of count on it a bit bit extra efficiency as we speak than what we had,” Logano mentioned. “Just off on total velocity. We had the steadiness considerably shut, simply not quick.”
TOP NON-HENDRICK CAR
Bubba Wallace, who drives the 23XI Racing No. 23 Toyota, completed fourth. He was the highest finisher not a part of the Hendrick storage.
“It was proper there within the high seven or eight the entire time,” Wallace mentioned. “I used to be going to accept sixth and the warning got here out. My automobile fired off actually, actually good (on the restart), one of the best it had all race.”
NO HOME-TRACK ADVANTAGE
Sunday’s first stage wasn’t form to Las Vegas drivers Busch and Noah Gragson. Busch bumped the wall, and Gragson twice was penalized for dashing on pit street. Gragson later was docked a 3rd dashing penalty.
Struggles in his hometown are nothing new for two-time Cup Series champion Busch, whose solely top-level win at Las Vegas was in 2009. He was 14th Sunday.
Gragson, a Cup Series rookie, completed thirtieth.
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