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Larson Captures History 300 At Charlotte

History_300_14_Charlotte_Larson_Winner

History_300_14_Charlotte_Kenseth

CONCORD, N.C. — Once Kyle Larson made a breathtaking pass for the lead just past the midpoint of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the outome was all but decided.

Larson led the last 56 laps and 82 of the last 83 to win for the first time at Charlotte, the second time this season and the second time in 43 starts in the series.

Larson passed Brad Keselowski in traffic on Lap 118 and stayed out front the rest of the way, save for one circuit during a cycle of green-flag pit stops that ran from Lap 140 through Lap 144. Ultimately, Keselowski finished second after a heated late-race battle against polesitter Kyle Busch for that position.

“It was about perfect for us,” Larson said of his afternoon at the track. “It was nice looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing them get smaller and smaller each lap. It’s not very often that you see the 22 (Keselowski) and the 54 (Busch) get smaller in your mirror.

“So it just shows how great of a car we had. The pit crew did an awesome job every stop we had. We had a great green-flag stop, too, so hats off to everyone on the team for making this win possible.”

Busch held third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Brian Scott. Matt Kenseth, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon completed the top 10.

With Chase Elliott running over debris and hitting the wall on Lap 87, leading to a 37th-place result, Smith took over the series lead by five points over Elliott Sadler, who came home 12th, the last driver on the lead lap.

Elliott dropped to third in the standings, 28 points behind his JR Motorsports teammate.

“Kyle and I had a great race — Kyle Busch,” Keselowski said. “Kyle Larson was just gone. He was pretty fast, just little bit better than us both in the corners and the straights… We need a little bit more, but we we’re running good, we’ve got a lot to be proud of, and we’ll move on.”

Busch fought a loose handling condition for most of the race and summed up his run succinctly.

“I was wrecking loose all day — just trying to hang on,“ Busch said, whose car was transported back to the Joe Gibbs Racing shop for repairs after hitting the wall in Thursday’s practice. “I was lucky to finish.”

In heavy traffic, Larson whipped past Keselowski on Lap 118, holding his No. 42 Chevrolet wide open in spectacular fashion through Turns 3 and 4 as Keselowski’s Ford was blocked by lapped cars in the lower lanes.

“I thought, if I could catch Brad in a bad spot in traffic, I could use it (the high line) 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 kind of hung up behind them, and I had a clear lane up above. It may not have looked that clear on TV, but there was quite a bit of room up there for me. It was a pretty awesome move… That was kind of the move of the race.”

With Keselowski saving fuel during the latter stages of the long green-flag run, Larson opened an advantage of nearly four seconds, but Keselowski whittled three seconds off the margin by pitting under green on Lap 141, two laps earlier than Larson.

On fresh tires, Larson stretched his lead back to more than two seconds before NASCAR called a caution on Lap 169 for debris in Turn 3. All lead-lap cars came to pit road for four tires on Lap 171, with Larson retaining the top spot, trailed by Harvick (who gained one position), Keselowski and Busch (who picked up two spots on the exchange of pit stops).

-By Reid Spencer | NASCAR Wire Services

Fin St # Driver Sponsor Car Laps Money Status Led Pts
1 3 42 Kyle Larson ENOES Chevrolet 200 $58,525 Running 82 0
2 2 22 Brad Keselowski Discount Tire Ford 200 $44,300 Running 22 0
3 1 54 Kyle Busch Monster Energy Toyota 200 $41,000 Running 27 0
4 5 5 Kevin Harvick Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet 200 $26,550 Running 0 0
5 6 2 Brian Scott Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet 200 $29,000 Running 0 39
6 7 20 Matt Kenseth GameStop-Mario Kart Toyota 200 $19,775 Running 67 0
7 8 7 Regan Smith Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet 200 $25,050 Running 0 37
8 16 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 200 $23,100 Running 0 36
9 13 60 Chris Buescher Roush Performance Parts Ford 200 $23,300 Running 0 35
10 11 3 Ty Dillon Bass Pro / NWTF Chevrolet 200 $22,825 Running 0 34
11 15 99 James Buescher Rheem Toyota 200 $21,000 Running 1 34
12 10 11 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Toyota 200 $20,475 Running 0 32
13 4 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Rockstar Chevrolet 199 $19,975 Running 0 31
14 23 16 Ryan Reed ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford 199 $19,400 Running 0 30
15 12 98 Jeb Burton Kendall Jackson Ford 198 $19,680 Running 0 0
16 24 80 Johnny Sauter Toyota Toyota 198 $13,000 Running 0 0
17 20 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 198 $18,575 Running 0 27
18 19 55 Ross Chastain Watermelon.org Chevrolet 197 $18,350 Running 0 0
19 27 43 Dakoda Armstrong Fresh From Florida Ford 197 $18,275 Running 0 25
20 18 19 Mike Bliss SupportMilitary.org Toyota 197 $18,825 Running 0 24
21 21 28 J.J. Yeley Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge 197 $18,075 Running 0 23
22 26 25 John Wes Townley Zaxby’s Toyota 197 $12,020 Running 0 0
23 31 51 Jeremy Clements Allsouthelectric.com Chevrolet 197 $17,970 Running 1 22
24 22 44 David Starr Central TX Lath & Plaster Toyota 197 $17,905 Running 0 20
25 29 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 $18,370 Running 0 19
26 17 84 Chad Boat Billy Boat Performance Exhaust Chevrolet 196 $17,835 Running 0 18
27 28 39 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Chevrolet 196 $17,800 Running 0 17
28 25 40 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 195 $17,765 Running 0 0
29 34 14 Eric McClure Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Toyota 194 $17,720 Running 0 15
30 14 01 Landon Cassill FlexSeal Chevrolet 193 $17,975 Running 0 14
31 32 76 Tommy Joe Martins TBA Dodge 191 $17,640 Running 0 13
32 30 86 Kyle Fowler Bubba Burger Chevrolet 191 $11,595 Running 0 12
33 33 23 Carlos Contreras 38 Special Filtered Cigars Chevrolet 191 $17,550 Running 0 11
34 38 52 Joey Gase TBA Toyota 189 $17,520 Running 0 10
35 39 87 Chris Cockrum Advanced Communications Group Chevrolet 186 $17,485 Running 0 0
36 36 70 Derrike Cope Youtheory Chevrolet 184 $16,600 Running 0 8
37 9 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 174 $16,600 Running 0 7
38 37 93 Harrison Rhodes JGL Racing Dodge 135 $16,556 Engine 0 6
39 35 74 Kevin Lepage The 30 Days Foundation Dodge 95 $10,435 Rear Gear 0 5
40 40 17 Tanner Berryhill NationalCashLenders.com Dodge 81 $10,330 Engine 0 4