NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Larson scores first Cup win in two years, takes Drydene 400 victory

1 Mins read
Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Monster Energy Cup Series‘ Round of 12 began with Sunday’s Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway. By the checkered flag, Kyle Larson was in Victory Lane for the first time in two years.

Denny Hamlin started on the pole the second time in 2019, with Larson qualifying second. Of the twelve playoff drivers, six occupied the top three rows, while Kyle Busch was the lowest-qualifying contender in eighteenth.

Stages #1 and 2

Before the green flag, Joey Logano‘s race quickly took a turn when he suffered from a broken axle, forcing him to the garage. Shortly after the race began, more problems plagued the field as Reed Sorenson and Chase Elliott also experienced mechanical failures, the latter producing a caution after just four laps.

Logano returned to the race on lap 24 as Hamlin continued to lead until green-flag stops on lap 76. During their stops, Aric Almirola, Darrell Wallace Jr., and Ryan Newman received speeding penalties.

Hamlin cycled back into the lead after stops ended and went on to take the stage win. Behind him were Martin Truex Jr., Larson, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Busch, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney.

Stage #2 went green the entire way as Hamlin dominated much of the segment. On lap 229, Truex took the lead and held on for the stage win. Larson passed Hamlin for second on lap 232. Behind the three were Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Bowman, Jones, Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Clint Bowyer.

Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Stage #3

The final stage commenced on lap 249 with Larson leading. After 21 laps, Hamlin began reporting engine problems but continued on.

On lap 296, Blaney pitted after losing his brakes before retiring from the race. 11 laps later, Truex took second from Hamlin.

With 82 laps left in the race, green-flag stops opened, with Paul Menard inheriting the lead when Larson pitted. Meanwhile, Jones was penalised for speeding. Larson regained the top spot after the pit cycle ended.

Larson continued his stage domination en route to his first victory since the fall Richmond Raceway event in 2017.

On Twitter, Larson’s team owner Chip Ganassi tweeted:

“That’s as good as I’ve ever been around the bottom here. Just a great combination here,” Larson said in a post-race interview with NBCSN. “Good to be fast in practice and to be good again in the race and get the win.”

1171 posts

About author
History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
Articles
Related posts
NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Larson wins Bristol Night Race as Harvick, Elliott clash

4 Mins read
As 12 drivers caught their breaths in advancing to the next round of the Cup playoffs, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott had choice words after tangling late.
NASCAR Cup Series

Mike Wheeler fully moves to 23XI director role, Bootie Barker becomes crew chief

2 Mins read
Bubba Wallace’s crew chief Mike Wheeler will become 23XI Racing’s director of competition on a permanent basis. Bootie Barker, who last worked as Ty Dillon’s CC in 2017, will take over the crew chiefing position.
NASCAR Cup Series

C-LA-sh, Gateway debut headline NASCAR Cup schedule changes for 2022

4 Mins read
The Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the arrival of World Wide Technology at Gateway are the major additions to the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series calendars, among other schedule changes.