Kyle Larson had a sensational season with a NASCAR Cup Series championship Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway.
One last race for four riders to fight over one championship. It all takes place at Phoenix Raceway. 312 laps on a track that races just like a short track, but can be much meander. Drivers often have difficulty handling the high temperatures. Whether it’s the smooth racing surface, the resin to add grip, or braking problems, Phoenix Raceway always gives drivers problems.
Kyle Larson takes the pole
Kyle Larson was the fastest in qualifying over the weekend, and he started on the pole. The race was not long under the green flag as Bubba Wallace and Corie Lajoie caused the first incident of the afternoon.
Shortly after the restart, Corey Lajoie turned out and issued another warning. Ryan Blaney started again with the lead, and he set the pace halfway through the first inning.
Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. chased through the field. He made the pass on Ryan Blaney coming all the way from sixth place. Truex Jr. continued to increase his lead and won the first innings by more than two seconds.
Chase Elliott takes the lead in starting the second phase
Chase Elliott took the lead during the break. 37 laps in the second inning, Martin Truex Jr. made the pass on Elliott and returned to the lead.
Just after Truex’s pass for the lead, Quin Houff lost a tire and spun into the wall. Chase Elliott cautiously moved back to the lead. Elliott led about twelve laps before being overtaken by Kyle Larson.
Larson could not pull away as Elliott stayed right on his buffer. Chase Elliott could not make a move for the lead and had to be content with second place in the second inning. Kyle Larson scored the stage victory.
Kyle Larson leads from the third phase
Kyle Larson continued to lead in the final phase of the race, and he swore off the rest of the championship contenders on him. All four drivers were within a second of each other through the long green flag run. No one could pass Larson as Anthony Alfredo issued the late warning.
Martin Truex Jr. started again with the lead that came out of caution, and the race was on. For another 30-lap run, no one would give an inch. With thirty laps left, a rubble warning came out. All the leaders came to pit road one last time.
Kyle Larson and his team had a fantastic stop. He got three spots coming off the pit road and had the lead. Larson led the field to the green flag.
Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin seemed to have disappeared when the race ended. The race was between Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson. Truex Jr. did not retreat, but he could not find a position to take the lead.
For thirty laps, Kyle Larson had to hold on. Kyle Larson did exactly that and took the checkered flag won his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship ever.
Kyle Larson has a sensational season with a NASCAR Cup Series Championship
Kyle Larson said it best in his post-race interview. Emotionally said he did not know if he would ever race again this year. Well, he had a great comeback.
This season, Kyle Larson scored ten overall wins. Out of 36 races, he had 26 top-ten finishes. 20 of these finishes were among the top five. Doing it all and concluding it with a championship is an incredible achievement. Kyle Larson deserved it this year.
Many claimed he was the best driver they’ve ever seen. Larson has a lot of natural talent, and it’s been on display for years. The scary part is that he is not even 30 years old yet. Hopefully, Kyle Larson will continue to compile large numbers for many years to come.