NASCAR: Kyle Larson Takes Checkered Flag at Watkins Glen in Thrilling Final Restart

by Jonathan Howard
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How about Kyle Larson? Just when you think that Larson wasn’t the NASCAR driver he used to be, he goes out and proves it today. Today was filled with issues from the weather delays and the rain on the track, and of course, having to change from rain to slick tires as well. However, that Hendrick Cars No. 5 was rocking and rolling all weekend.

From a wet and wild start to the sun coming out to dry it all out, Kyle Larson battled through it all. This afternoon got started off with a major delay due to lightning. Then, despite having rain tires and flaps, NASCAR had to clear off the track a bit.

Chase Elliott had the pole to start and he raced in the front for most of the day. If he wasn’t in the top five, he was likely in the top ten or close by. In a heated battle with Michael McDowell throughout the second stage. However, Elliott and his Hendrick teammate Kyle Larson had a firm hold on the race.

With a solid tire strategy, Elliott was able to build a lead over Larson with about 20 laps to go. They just needed some cars on different pit strategies to get out of the way and it was a battle between the 9 and the 5. The 2020 and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champions, battling it out on the road.

Late Cautions Made it Interesting

Just when we thought that Elliott was ready to pull away and put the distance on his teammate, Larson, the caution flag came out. The yellow flag flew after Joey Hand in the 15 slid on his own and wrecked into the barrier. This was the moment that everyone behind Elliott was waiting for.

The restart was Elliott, Larson, Michael McDowell, AJ Allmendinger, and Tyler Reddick. That’s quite a crowd for a fast dash to the line. But, it wasn’t meant to be either. Another spin-out from Loris Hezemans in the 27 called for another restart.

This is where the race was won by Kyle Larson. Just as Elliott thought he’d have win #5 this season, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion showed up to prove he’s still got some speed.

Kyle Larson Shakes Things Up

Before the second stage started today, Chase Elliott was able to claim the regular season title. Ryan Blaney failed to score points in the first stage, and that led to the clinch. It wasn’t going to get him the checkered flag today, though.

It really looked like this would be the fifth win on the season for Elliott. But, Kyle Larson held true. He took the win in the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series this weekend at The Glen. Giving him two checkered flags on the year. If he is starting to get on a good run just before the playoffs, then things might be more competitive than we thought. Could Larson repeat his championship from last year? He just repeated at Watkins Glen, so why not?

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