Kyle Larson Continues Hot Streak By Winning First NASCAR Cup Series Race At Nashville Superspeedwayby Hunter Thomas June 20, 2021 0 comments
LEBANON, Tenn. – Kyle Larson won the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday to claim his fourth consecutive win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Since Memorial Day weekend, Larson has won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he was won at Sonoma Raceway, and he also won the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Now, for the fourth straight week, Larson is celebrating in Victory Lane. On Sunday at Nashville, Larson won in dominating fashion, leading 264 of 300 laps in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet.
“Yeah, it was a great day,” Larson said. “We never really had to run behind people, so I don’t know. If one of my teammates got out front again, it would have been hard to pass them. Valvoline Chevrolet was really good. It could cut the corner, cut the middle of the corner really well. Our pit crew did an awesome job again. That number one pit stall helps a bunch too. This crowd is awesome.”
More than 30 years ago when NASCAR visited Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 car also visited Victory Lane. That day, the Chevrolet was driven by Geoffrey Bodine, and on Sunday, team owner Rick Hendrick spoke about how special the car number is to the organization.
“Well, you know, when I thought about it this year, the 5 was our first number,” Hendrick said. “I was super excited to bring it back. Then to run Ricky’s (Hendrick, son) paint scheme on it, that was kind of like icing on the cake. Then to see the car run like it does, and Kyle do the job, Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) do the job he’s doing, yeah, it’s super exciting for me to see all of the cars go. But the 5 was the first number. Almost didn’t get through the year. Now to be here and have this many victories, to see that car back on track, it never gets old. I mean, I get nervous toward the end we’re going to run out of fuel, there’s going to be a caution, all those things that I go through. What is it, 270 times now?”
Ross Chastain earned his best-ever finish in the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday as he piloted the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Clover Chevrolet to a runner-up finish. Pit strategy helped catapult Chastain to the front of the pack in the final 68 laps. Throughout the closing laps, Chastain made his way into the top-10 and eventually the top-five, where he challenged for the win. The effort marks Chastain’s third top-five in the past four races.
“It’s finally on a circle track, that’s all I’m happy about,” Chastain said following the second-place finish. “I’m happy about the road courses, I just don’t really know what it’s happening. Here, I know why. I know what we did. I know what I’m doing to drive the car. Road courses, it’s not really pre-planned. This is pre-planned. It’s what we all grew up doing.”
William Byron and Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 was Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Daniel Suarez, Kurt Busch, Christopher Bell and Joey Logano.
Chase Elliott won Stage 1, and Larson won Stages 2 and 3.
There were 14 lead changes among seven drivers.
The caution flag flew on 11 occasions. Many teams fought brake issues all afternoon; however, the only multi-car accident occurred on Lap 79, when Justin Haley’s brakes failed in Turn 2. Chris Buescher ran over debris from Haley’s car and also slapped the outside wall.
Although Larson has had an incredible season so far, he trails point leader, Denny Hamlin by nine points in the standings.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27 for a doubleheader weekend. Live coverage of the races will broadcast on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET. on Saturday and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images