Kyle Larson Strikes in the History 300

Kyle Larson Strikes in the History 300

by May 24, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the second time this season, Kyle Larson (Turner Scott Motorsports) claimed victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series after winning the History 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson led the most laps on his way to victory lane (82) and was undoubtedly the strongest car of the second-half of the race. Larson had to fight off both Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) and Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) to get to victory lane for the second time in his Nationwide Series career. The driver of the No. 42 ENEOS Camaro’s victory is notable for being the first Chevrolet win at Charlotte in the Nationwide Series since Mike Bliss won for Phoenix Racing nine Charlotte races ago in 2009.

“It was about perfect for us”, Larson spoke of his race in victory lane. “This ENEOS Chevrolet was great from the time we rolled off of the truck on Thursday. I knew we had a good piece, but not that good. We were pretty dominant there in the last half of the race and I was worried there on that last restart because we weren’t very good on short runs and extremely good on long runs but it was good from the start and that was great.”

The Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Busch and Matt Kenseth would dominate the first half of the race but would begin to fade by the halfway mark of the race. The teammates would combine to lead a total of 94 laps. Keselowski would stalk the pair of Toyota Camrys throughout the race and would lead 22 laps himself en route to a second-place finish – prevailing in a magnificent battle with Busch in the closing stages of the race.

“He was pretty fast,” Keselowski said of Larson. “He was a little bit better than us in the corners and on the straights. Got a little bit of work to do but all-in-all a good showing for the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang. We need a little bit more but we’re running good and we’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing) was the highest-finishing Nationwide Series regular and would put up a strong fight against Kevin Harvick (JR Motorsports) as the laps began to wind down. Scott was unable to pass and clear the No. 5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Camaro but would still wind up with a solid fifth-place finish that will generate momentum for the team as they head to Dover next week.

Scott would make up ground in the Nationwide Series Drivers’ Standings as the points leader entering the race, Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports), would run into issues on Lap 86 as he would pancake the Turn 4 wall and would inflict some considerable damage on the right-side of his car. Elliott would take his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro behind the wall to have his crew repair his damaged race car and would go on to finish 37th.

Regan Smith (JR Motorsports) inherited the points lead from Elliott after a consistent race that would place him seventh at the conclusion of the event. Smith takes a five-point lead over Elliott Sadler (Toyota) – who finished 12th – into next Saturday’s Dover race. Elliott drops to third in the standings and is now 28 points out of the lead.

Today’s race proved to be a fairly tame one in terms of cautions. Three caution periods¬†were thrown during the race, the fewest in a Charlotte Nationwide Series race since the Little Trees 300 in October of 2003. Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing) would bring out the first caution on Lap 25 when he went for a spin off of Turn 2, Elliott would bring out the second caution with his contact with the wall on Lap 86, and the third and final caution of the day was thrown for debris in Turn 3 on Lap 171.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series now heads to New England for next Saturday’s Buckle Up 200 at the Dover International Speedway.

Top-10 Finishers of the History 300

  1. 42 – Kyle Larson(i) – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  2. 22 – Brad Keselowski(i) – Ford – Team Penske
  3. 54 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  4. 5 – Kevin Harvick (i) – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
  5. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
  6. 20 – Matt Kenseth(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  7. 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
  8. 6 – Trevor Bayne – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
  9. 60 – Chris Buescher# – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
  10. 3 – Ty Dillon# – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing

Top-10 in the Drivers’ Standings after Round 11 of 33

  1. 7 – Regan Smith – JR Motorsports – 414 | Leader
  2. 11 – Elliott Sadler – Joe Gibbs Racing – 409 | -5
  3. 9 – Chase Elliott# – JR Motorsports – 386 | -28
  4. 6 – Trevor Bayne – Roush-Fenway Racing – 379 | -35
  5. 3 – Ty Dillon# – Richard Childress Racing – 378 | -36
  6. 2 – Brian Scott – Richard Childress Racing – 354 | -60
  7. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Richard Childress Racing – 309 | -105
  8. 99 – James Buescher – RAB Racing – 303 | -111
  9. 60 – Chris Buescher# – Roush-Fenway Racing – 295 | -119
  10. 31 – Dylan Kwasniewski# – Turner Scott Motorsports – 285 | -129

# = Rookie.

(i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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