The month of October has been a tough one for Kyle Larson, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver turned things around at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.
Larson took home the checkered flag, winning the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race. The 30-year-old swept both stage wins and led 199 of the race?s 267 laps in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
The win was Larson’s third of the year and 19th of his career. It was also the first win at Homestead in his career. The win comes after he was eliminated from the Cup Series playoffs on Oct. 9 and after a dustup with Bubba Wallace at Las Vegas on Oct. 16 — an incident the 23XI driver apologized for after and got him suspended from Sunday’s race.
“No matter what team I’ve been with, things haven’t worked out on my end to get a win, so glad to get one today,” Larson said, per NASCAR. “Definitely the best run we’ve had all year long. We’ve been capable of it, I feel like many weekends, we just hadn?t quite put it all together. (Crew chief) Cliff (Daniels) gave a great speech this morning and got us all ready to go and focused.”
The day was not without incident for Larson, however. The Hendrick Motorsports driver had an incident with Martin Truex Jr. on pit road that caused the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to turn backwards.
Luckily, the collision didn’t cause either driver to fall out of the race, but Truex lost the lead after the caution period.
“I was just going behind him, and he had a hard left and was hard on the brakes at the same time and I got into the back of him,” Larson explained of the incident. “My team said he was late getting into his stall. I don’t know. If it was my fault, I’m sorry, but I don?t think it was. It’s hard to see on this pit road. … hate that happened. He was definitely the one I was going to have to beat.”
Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin were the only playoff drivers to finish in the top 10 on Sunday with second and seventh place finishes, respectively. One race remains before the Championship 4 field is set. Joey Logano is the only driver to have secured his spot for a Cup Series title.
Below are the current Round of 8 NASCAR playoff standings:
1. Joey Logano
2. Ross Chastain (+19)
3. Chase Elliott (+11)
4. William Byron (+5)
5. Denny Hamlin (-5)
6. Ryan Blaney (-18)
7. Christopher Bell (-33)
8. Chase Briscoe (-44)
Despite elimination from the playoffs, Larson can help Hendrick Motorsports win the owner’s title.