Kyle Larson Takes NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Victory

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Photo: Jared C. Tilton (Getty Images)

Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 driver Kyle Larson has made one hell of a comeback after his enforced absence from the NASCAR Cup Series after his usage of a racial slur. Since his return, Larson has scored five wins and nine other top-five finishes — and that saw him take home the regular season championship at the end of Daytona International Speedway’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.


That success also puts Larson at the top of the re-seeded playoff grid, where he leads Denny Hamlin in points. This is the highest Larson has ever been in points at the start of the postseason.

For the uninitiated, the regular season is the name given to the first part of NASCAR’s championship, the part that takes place prior to the playoffs. The winner of the regular season is determined by the number of points scored during each race, where the ultimate championship at the end of the year comes down to the eligible driver who scores highest at the final race of the season.

The Coke Zero Sugar 400 itself was one hell of a chaotic race that featured 45 lead changes, a 14-minute red flag period, and a crash-heavy last lap finish. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, after only leading seven of the race’s 165 laps, took the lead during overtime and took his third win of the season. Behind him, nine cars got caught up in a wild wreck that wiped out several drivers who were running in the top-10 and hoping to nab that crucial win to launch them into the playoffs. Those drivers include Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, and Corey LaJoie.

The re-seeded Playoff standings are as follows:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Alex Bowman
  7. Denny Hamlin
  8. William Byron
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Brad Keselowski
  11. Kurt Busch
  12. Christopher Bell
  13. Michael McDowell
  14. Aric Almirola
  15. Tyler Reddick
  16. Kevin Harvick

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begin next Sunday with the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

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