Larson Captures Charlotte Win

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson scored his second victory in 43 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. (Photo: Getty Images)

Race Results

CONCORD, N.C. - Cool and calm on the radio, Kyle Larson unveiled a smile as replayed what essentially was his winning pass during Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It was a pretty awesome move,’’ Larson said.

Larson rode the high line as leader Brad Keselowski ran the bottom and lapped cars were in the middle lane with 83 laps left. Larson charged off the corner and sailed by the lapped cars and Keselowski.

Larson led all but one lap the rest of the way, relinquishing the lead to pit under green before quickly getting it back and sailing to his second career Nationwide win.

Awesome was not how Larson described his pass for the lead at the time, though. Told on the radio by his team that his move was “pretty cool,’’ Larson responded with a steady voice, “yeah.’’

Larson showed competitors last year how fast the high line could be at this track. He admits he didn’t run as high Saturday as he did last fall but it was still a fast enough line. As he closed on Keselowski, Larson pounced.

“I know if I caught Brad in a bad spot I could use it to my advantage and that’s kind of what happened,’’ Larson said. “I saw a lot of lapped traffic ahead of us, and he had yet to try the top or as high as I was going. He got hung up behind them, and it was a clear lane up above. Maybe it didn’t look that clear on TV but there was quite a bit move up there for me.’’

Said Keselowski: “(Larson) had a fast car that was very versatile and could run the top or the bottom. That’s what you dream for as a driver.’’

Keselowski finished second with Kyle Busch third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Brian Scott fifth.

Chase Elliott lost the points lead after he hit the wall and brought out the caution on lap 88 of the 200-lap race.

Elliott told his team he thought something happened with the right front tire before he hit the wall but the tire was intact. After leaving pit road, he reported that whatever was broken remained broken. The team eventually sent him to the garage for repairs. He returned and finished 37th.

After the race, Elliott said a right front jackscrew was to blame for the incident.

So what does Elliott take from this race?

“We take a bad day and the realization that we’ve got to win a lot of races now,’’ he said.

Elliott fell to third in the season standings and lost his lead to JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Elliott trails Smith by 28 points heading into next weekend’s race at Dover.

“I don’t ever want to discount having the points lead because it’s always a good thing, but it’s so early,’’ Smith said about taking the points lead.

Busch, who won both races last year, struggled with his car’s handling throughout the race before rallying late.

“We were out best and coming forward and probably could have passed (Keselowski) but it was a one-lane racetrack, unfortunately, with the sun,’’ Busch said. “The fastest way was around the bottom. You could never make up any time on the top side. Frustrating like that when you can’t make anything happen and you’re sitting behind a guy and the laps are ticking away.’’

               

Race Center

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@ Richmond Int'l Raceway
Friday, September 05, 2014 7:00 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 7 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
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