NASCAR at Michigan results: Kyle Larson wins again, Dale Earnhardt Jr. cracks top 10
Larson returned to the scene of his first-career win to take the checkered flag on Sunday.
Kyle Larson held off Chase Elliott and a host of challengers after late restarts at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday to win his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. Larson, who started on the pole and had the fastest car in practice, led the most laps and was able to hold the lead throughout three restarts within the final 20 laps.
Larson won his first-career race here in 2016. Sunday's victory was only the third win of his career. We had him, with Joey Logano as our favorite. Logano took third Sunday.
Larson's three Cup victories have all come at 2-mile tracks, although there are some differences between racing at MIS and Fontana.
"Michigan and Fontana are very, very similar in shape and size, but the racing surface is way different," Larson said. "Fontana's rough and bumpy, and it's wore-out surface -- you have to really, really take care of your tires and move around, find different lanes that work. Here at Michigan, your tires don't wear out quite as bad, not nearly as bad, and your line doesn't move around a ton, but it's really fast, got a lot of grip.
"They're both a lot of fun."
Martin Truex Jr. battled Larson to take the first two stages after both drivers started the race from the front row. The No. 78 now has 10 mid-race stage victories this season, nobody else has more than four. Truex Jr. and Larson combined to lead nearly all the laps in Stages 1 and 2, only forfeiting the lead briefly during green-flag pit stops.
Ryan Sieg got loose late in the final stage and nearly took out Truex Jr., who was leading at the time. The No. 78 almost lost it as well but was able to right the ship as the caution flag came out.
Last week's winner Ryan Blaney brought out the caution with 10 laps to go, taking out both Danica Patrick and rookie Daniel Suarez. Patrick,, sustained heavy damage but was able to make it out of the car OK.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a nice bounce-back day, notching a top-10 finish after a really tough race at Pocono last week. Earnhardt Jr. was hoping to get that elusive first win of the season on Sunday at a track where he already had two victories. The No. 88 will have a legitimate shot at a win in two weeks when the series returns to Daytona International Speedway, arguably his best track.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Results
- Kyle Larson (96 laps led)
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
- Denny Hamlin (won Xfinity Series race on Saturday)
- Jamie McMurray
- Martin Truex Jr. (62 laps led)
- Kyle Busch (40 laps led)
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
- Kurt Busch
- Erik Jones
- Kevin Harvick
- Ryan Newman
- Brad Keselowski (2 laps led)
- Trevor Bayne
- AJ Allmendinger
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
- Ty Dillon
- Kasey Kahne
- Paul Menard
- Michael McDowell
- Daniel Suarez
- Ryan Blaney
- Clint Bowyer
- Austin Dillon
- Matt DiBenedetto
- David Ragan
- Corey LaJoie
- Cole Whitt
- Landon Cassill
- Ryan Sieg
- Reed Sorenson
- Jeffrey Earnhardt
- Chris Buescher
- Danica Patrick
2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Driver Standings
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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