Kyle Larson’s win drought might not have been the longest within the NASCAR Cup Collection, however his sixth profession victory was a very long time coming.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson took the checkered flag at Dover Worldwide Speedway to open up the spherical of 12 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Collection playoffs with a victory within the Drydene 400.
This victory was the sixth victory of Larson’s profession, however it was his first since he received the 2017 common season finale at Richmond Raceway greater than two years in the past.
Larson’s 75-race win drought might not have been the longest win drought within the Cup Collection. The truth is, it wasn’t even so long as that of Jimmie Johnson, one in every of solely three seven-time champions the Cup Collection has ever seen, and it wasn’t even the longest win drought of his personal profession.
However within the case of the 27-year-old Elk Grove, California native, this victory was a very long time coming.
Since securing his fifth profession victory at Richmond Raceway again on Saturday, September 9, 2017, Larson had gained a repute as considerably of a choker.
He completed in second place 9 instances, third seven instances, fourth twice and fifth 4 instances.
Every other driver may take these statistics over the course of 75 races over the course of hesitation.
However “every other driver” might have accrued a number of victories throughout this span versus 22 high 5 finishes with out one. Sadly for Larson, he didn’t capitalized on a number of nice alternatives throughout these two-plus years.
Final April, he led a race-high 200 laps of the 500-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway. However he was handed by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch late within the race after Busch moved him out of the way in which, and he was unable to cross him again.
The next month, he began in final place within the 267-lap race at Kansas Speedway, and he rebounded to guide a race-high 101 laps. However late within the race, he made contact with Workforce Penske’s Ryan Blaney, inflicting harm to his #42 Chevrolet. He rebounded, however solely to complete in fourth.
At Chicagoland Speedway in July of 2018, it was one other high two Kyle sweep. Larson took the lead away from Busch after they made contact on the ultimate lap after Busch had led 58 laps of the 267-lap race. However Busch then retaliated, sending Larson spinning. He recovered, however solely to complete in second place behind the opposite Kyle.
The race at Darlington Raceway in September of 2018 supplied some of the dominant performances of the season, and it was turned in by Larson. He led 284 of the race’s 367 laps, however a gradual last pit cease through the race’s last warning flag interval and poor execution on the following restart relegated him to a 3rd place end.
The inaugural race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway roval later within the month supplied one other dominant efficiency by Larson. However after main 47 laps, he crashed late within the 109-lap race and almost missed out on advancing to the spherical of 12 due to it.
Larson led 45 of the primary 163 laps of the 267-lap season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one in every of his finest tracks on account of his prowess on the excessive line. However after hitting the wall on lap 199, he was solely in a position to climb again as much as 13th place.
This season within the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February, Larson was dominant, main 142 of the 325-lap race’s first 223 laps. However his failure to recuperate from a pit highway rushing penalty resulted in him ending in 12th place.
Chicagoland Speedway historical past almost repeated itself in late June. Larson ran down Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman, who was looking for his first Cup Collection victory, and took the lead late. However as an alternative of pulling away from Bowman, he was rapidly reeled in by Bowman, and Bowman ended up retaking the lead and occurring to win forward of Larson in second place.
Then at Dover Worldwide Speedway…
…Larson really received.
And he couldn’t have accomplished so at a extra opportune time.
His victory is his first profession playoff victory, and he’s slated to advance to the spherical of eight for the primary time in his profession because of it. Moreover, he’s the primary Chip Ganassi Racing driver to ever advance previous the spherical of 12.
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Kyle Larson’s NASCAR Cup Collection playoff victory on the Monster Mile was a very long time coming. Now that he has the monkey off his again, can Larson add to his win whole all through the rest of the playoffs, and even perhaps seize his first profession championship just some weeks after lastly shedding the “choker” moniker?