CUP: Larson Goes Wire-To-Wire For Stage 1 Victory At Bristol

Jacob Seelman Cup 0 Comments

Kyle Larson leads the field during Monday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Larson parlayed the pole starting position into a wire-to-wire stage victory during the opening leg of Monday’s rain-postponed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Earning the top grid spot after Coors Light Pole Qualifying was rained out on Friday afternoon, Larson took off on the green flag and never looked back, leading all 125 laps in Stage 1 to notch his second stage win of the season.

Larson has finished in the top 10 in 14 of the 15 stages run this season, most among the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field, and could work both the bottom and top lanes during his first stint.

“This car feels good; this place is so much fun when you can get two grooves … or more,” Larson said. “I’m having a blast.”

“Our car’s a little loose on the short run, but after we get going I get better and better, so hopefully we can get some long runs going and can lap some more good cars.”

Larson’s biggest challenge during Stage 1 was Martin Truex Jr., who moved from third to take the runner-up spot on lap 12 and dogged the points leader for much of the first stage.

Though Truex lost a position to his teammate Erik Jones briefly, he regained second with 25 laps to go in Stage 1 and held serve all the way to the green-checkered flag, coming in 1.134 seconds back of Larson.

Jones was third ahead of Joey Logano and seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin, A.J. Allmendinger and Kyle Busch completed the top 10 and all scored bonus points at the end of Stage 1.

The only incident during the stage came at lap 54, when Kurt Busch wheel-hopped on the exit of turn four and pounded the inside wall on the frontstretch.

As the field slowed up to avoid the No. 41 Ford, Chris Buescher and Reed Sorenson were collected in the accordion, with Buescher suffering enough damage to end his day after starting in a backup car.


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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