Kyle Larson and John Hunter Nemechek were the last two drivers in the final turns at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, and it was the Hendrick Motorsports driver that emerged victorious.
Larson was issued a speeding penalty at the start of Stage 3, which sent him to the rear at 30th. But the 30-year-old rallied back in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and dueled with Nemechek, who won pole at the Shriners Children’s 200.
The pair of drivers were neck-and-neck when the white flag was waved, and Larson took his opportunity to capture the lead. The Hendrick Motorsports driver made contact with Nemechek on Turn 4, which caused the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to wreck his No. 20 Toyota and leave Larson’s No. 10 Chevrolet through with the checkered flag.
Check out the thrilling finish below:
“It feels good,” Larson said of his first win at Darlington Raceway, per NASCAR video. “Exciting fashion there, too, at the end. We had a really, really good car at the race. … We were kind of bouncing off each other a little bit. I’m not sure what happened at the end of (Turn) 3, seemed like he tried to get in behind me to throw me in the corner. He kind of hooked me right, hit the wall. Just tried to stay away from him and get off at (Turn) 4. What an exciting race there.”
Nemechek finished fifth at Darlington Raceway and is second in the Xfinity Series standings, but the Joe Gibbs Racing driver likely will lament falling short and not coming away with his third win of the season.
Larson will seek another strong finish in the Cup Series on Sunday and try to sweep the weekend at Darlington Raceway.