DOVER, Del. — Kyle Larson’s masterful restart with 60 laps to go proved to be the deciding factor in the finish of Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series One Main 200 at Dover Int’l Speedway.
Larson pitted after stage two while nine cars stayed out for track position as the pole-sitter picked them off one-at-a-time until grabbing the lead from Daniel Suarez on lap 147 and never looked back for his first NASCAR win at the Monster Mile.
“I’ve had some good runs here at Dover and I have some bad ones, too,” Larson said. So to get a win, with ParkerStore too, I’ve been close to winning winning with them on our car or Truck at Homestead. It’s really really cool to get a win with ParkerStore, they’ve been with me in my career really since I was 9 or 10 years old. So, it’s special to get them in victory lane. Heck of a race, everybody did an amazing job preparing this car.”
“I had a blast, Blaney was probably as equal as me but we had a better start after the second stage I needed.”
Ryan Blaney began to run down the No. 42 ParkerStore Chevrolet in the closing laps but wasn’t able to make a bid for the lead, trying to snap a year-and-half winless streak for the No. 22 team but coming up short, 1.1 seconds behind Larson.
“It’s starting to get back to that performance,” Blaney said about the No. 22 team. “They put a lot of work in the off-season towards where this car should run again. Just a lot of hard work by everyone, from Greg Erwin and everybody who puts effort into the team. Not only everyone at the race track but those who put these cars together. They put a lot of time over the winter to try and get back in contention, to win eight to 10 races a year and win an owner’s championship. I think we’re really close.”
Blaney recorded his fourth runner-up finish of the season in the No. 22 car while winning last weekend at Charlotte in the second Team Penske car, the No. 12. The No. 22 is still looking for it’s first win since Texas November 2015 with Brad Keselowski.
“It’s just a matter of closing those little gaps on all race tracks…short track, mile-and-a-halfs, longer tracks,” Blaney added. “It’s been fun to be a part of that progression. Obviously, we want to be winning races but you have to put the work in to get there. They’ve definitely done that. Just a little bit more is what we need.”
Cup drivers swept the top-three spots with Cole Custer being the highest-finishing XFINITY Series regular in fourth. Both he and Ryan Reed (fifth) pitted before most of the front-runners, allowing them to start up front and gain track position. Reed badly spun on the tires on the restart but held onto a fifth-place finish, tying his career best non-restrictor plate run which came last August at Road America.”