FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Larson was back in the NASCAR All-Star Race, and got another $1 million by winning it again.
from www.espn.com and from YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Larson held off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski during the final 10-lap shootout on Sunday night, after a slippery three-wide pass to get back in front and push Hendrick Motorsports to its second consecutive win and 10th overall in the annual non-points race with the seven-figure prize.
Defending All-Star winner and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott, who started the sixth and final segment out front, didn’t stay there long. Larson pushed his teammate, then got in front on the outside through the fourth turn. They were three-wide while Keselowski pulled ahead briefly at the line before Larson finally got ahead to stay for the last eight laps.
There were no points on the line, but Larson went to Victory Lane for the third weekend in a row.
Larson was with Chip Ganassi Racing when he won the 2019 All-Star Race, but missed last year’s big event while serving a six-month suspension after using a racial slur during the livestream of a virtual race during the pandemic. That nearly cost him his career, but Hendrick gave him an opportunity this season to get back into the Cup Series.
Second in points with 10 races to go before the playoffs, Larson is now only the eighth driver to be a two-time All-Star Race winner.
Elliott finished third with Joey Logano fourth, ahead of Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman.
Hendrick drivers Elliott, William Byron and Larson started the final segment 1-2-3. Elliott had moved from third to first during the 30-lap fifth segment that included a required four-tire stop and $100,000 prize for his crew that had the fastest stop.
Byron won the fourth segment and had the lowest cumulative finish through the first four 15-lap segments. Larson, Blaney and Bowman finished in front for the first three segments.
Larson, who won the past two Cup races, was on the pole by a random draw and was still in front at the end of the first segment. After a random inversion of the top 12 finishers in that first stage, Blaney was moved from 12th to first to start the next 15 laps.
Blaney stayed in front, even holding on after wiggling because of contact from behind by Ross Chastain, one of three drivers who advanced to the main event from the earlier open-qualifying race.
After a full-field inversion going to the third stage, Aric Almirola, who also got in through the qualifying race, went from last to first, but it was Bowman — after getting pushed up from 17th to fifth — in the lead after that 15 laps.
On a hot night deep in the heart of Texas, drivers emerged through the saloon doors on a huge facade during prerace introductions while their cars were rolled through a corral gate. Drivers did their warm-up laps while Sammy Hagar performed “I Can’t Drive 55” from the stands, ending right at the green flag.
It was 97 degrees with the sun still shining when the race started, with a heat index of 106 Fahrenheit. The track temperature had been in the mid-140s during the earlier open-qualifying race, though there were some areas of shade by the time the main event started.