NASCAR: Kyle Larson Takes the Checkered Flag at Coca Cola 600

by Evan Reier

The NASCAR Cup Series returned to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday as the Coca Cola 600 revved up for Memorial Day weekend.

After displays of patriotism through a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” and the National Anthem, racing got underway. 400 laps later, Kyle Larson added to an already impressive 2021 record with a sweep of the stages and eventual victory in North Carolina.

It didn’t come without a fight, as the likes of Kyle Busch, William Byron and Chase Elliott all stayed close to Larson throughout the race. Elliott placed second in the first two stages of the race, while Byron took second in the third stage.

That being said, just because Larson had competition doesn’t mean he didn’t put in a commanding performance. Winning three stages and the race is one thing, but leading for the vast majority of laps hammers home the fact that he was always at the front.

For anyone who has followed NASCAR this season, Larson’s win should come as no surprise. The win on May 30 is on the back of three straight second-place finishes at Darlington, Dover and the Circuit of Americas.

Further, the 28-year-old driver notched a win in Las Vegas earlier on in the season. Coming into Sunday’s race, he sat in third in NASCAR Cup Series standings, trailing Denny Hamlin by 110 and William Byron by 11.

For Hendrick Motorsports, the win also marks the 269th for the legendary racing team. With No. 269, Hendrick now has the most wins of any team, surpassing Petty Enterprises for the most.

Other Notable Results from NASCAR Coca Cola 600

Four caution flags were brought out on Sunday. Thanks to the yellow, only 14 racers actually finished on the same lap that Kyle Larson did.

Those included:

  • 2nd: Chase Elliott
  • 3rd: Kyle Busch
  • 4th: William Byron
  • 5th: Alex Bowman
  • 6th: Austin Dillon
  • 7th: Denny Hamlin
  • 8th: Chris Buescher
  • 9th: Tyler Reddick
  • 10th: Kevin Harvick
  • 11th: Brad Keselowski
  • 12th: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • 13th: Ryan Blaney
  • 14th: Bubba Wallace

Before Larson took the eventual checkered flag, the race saw 23 lead changes and 13 total leaders.

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