This year, the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday has been a frequent visitor to Victory Lane.
Kyle Larson increased his series lead after winning the Go Bowling at The Glen event for the sixth time in 2021. Larson cruised to victory after establishing a big lead in Stage3.
Larson also moved into a tie for first place in the point standings with Denny Hamlin. The regular-season champion earns a place in the NASCAR playoffs, but Larson has already qualified as a race winner. This year, Hamlin hasn’t won any of the 23 races he’s entered.
Larson’s win was excellent news for Hamlin and other drivers on the verge of making the playoffs. With three races left in the regular season and 13 different race winners, three places in the 16-driver field remain available. Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Reddick currently hold those positions.
More information on Larson’s victory on Sunday, as well as the full race results, can be seen below.
Who won yesterday’s NASCAR race?
Kyle Larson won for the fifth time this season, this time by 2.430 seconds over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott. During Stage 3, Larson had established a lead of more than twice that, but lapped traffic in front of him and Elliott behind him made things a little tricky for a few minutes.
“Chase was already catching me pretty quickly, even with me being on the open track, so when I caught those, I think, four (lapped) cars and got into the 38 (Anthony Alfredo) right here, I thought I’d look in my mirror and the 9 (Elliott) would be right on me,” Larson said, according to NASCAR.com. “Thankfully, I had a comfortable enough gap to make a mistake like that,” Larson said.
Despite starting at the back of the pack, Elliott, the two-time reigning race champion, finished second. His No. 9 vehicle had failed prerace inspection twice, so he was placed there.
“Unfortunately, I made too many errors to win the race, and I made them too late in the race,” he stated, according to NASCAR.com.
This season, Larson and Elliott have finished 1-2 four times.
Kyle Larson won for the 11th time in 23 races for Hendrick Motorsports this season. In 2021, all four Hendrick drivers had at least one victory.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, Chase Briscoe, and Tyler Reddick round out the top ten following Larson and Elliott.
For the time being, Hamlin, Harvick, and Reddick have the three available playoff places, but if they stay winless and first-time winners emerge in each of the next three races, they may be pushed off the bubble. Hamlin has a chance to make the playoffs if he wins the regular-season points championship.
Reddick is battling to remain in the projected postseason field’s top 16. He is 15 points ahead of his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon in the 16th position. Dillon is 95 points behind Harvick.
When the Cup Series races for the first time on the road track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next weekend, it will create history. The Verizon 200 at The Brickyard will take place on Sunday, August 15 at 1 p.m. ET (NBC, TSN 3 & 5, IMS Radio).