Larson dominates at Cup Series race at Nashville

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – JUNE 13: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, and crew chief Cliff Daniels celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 13, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images).

Kyle Larson wins his third NASCAR Cup Series points race in a row in a historic event at Nashville Superspeedway.

Cup Series made its long-awaited return to Nashville for its inaugural race at Nashville Superspeedway in a very entertaining event.

Kyle Busch had a great start and went to an early lead. Quin Houff’s day went from bad to even worse – the no.00 car driver lost his tire and went into the barrier in turn 1. Caution was out. Several laps later the race was restarted. Kyle Larson ran in the middle and took over the lead. Aric Almirola and Joey Logano had a contact in their battle for 3rd, but both drivers kept going.

Larson was over a second ahead of Kyle Busch, but the Joe Gibbs Racing driver started catching up the leader. The first wave of green-flag pit stops went underway at the same time. The most significant thing was the amount of brake dust coming in from the front tires. Tyler Reddick had a spin at the pit exit, which triggered caution. Kyle Busch jumped Larson at the pit road, so he was ahead at the restart. A lap later, the no.5 car driver came back to the front. Ryan Blaney’s day was over after a hard hit with the barrier after brake failure – another caution was out.

Larson won the restart, while Kyle Busch lost his pace. Chris Buescher and Justin Haley hit the barrier at the same time, so caution was out for the fourth time in stage 1. The race ended prematurely for both of them. Chase Elliott stayed out, so he was the leader at the restart. He went on to win the opening stage.

Larson retook the race lead at the start of stage 2. Bubba Wallace had a solid run but went spinning and caution came out. Larson saved the lead at the restart. A good day for Cole Custer got an upheaval after suffering from brake rotor failure. Chase Briscoe was in the lead after two tires at the pit stop, but it was impossible to stop Larson, who eventually won the stage.

Larson remained at the top of the pack at the start of final stage, followed by William Byron and Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch avoided hitting the barrier but lost a couple of vital positions. Friday’s Truck Series race winner Ryan Preece spun to force another caution. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver retired from the race. Larson had to battle again to be the leader and he successfully did so.

Kyle Busch had his right front tire going down as he kept losing positions and was down to 26th. Wallace spun again after a contact with Michael McDowell as the 10th caution of the day was at the track. Larson once again got the lead at the race restart. Another brake rotor issue hit Briscoe, who also retired.

Larson made the gap from Byron and Harvick at the restart. However, the leader got some debris on his grille, so he had to remove them to avoid overheating. He made it with the help of JJ Yeley. As the race was getting to its conclusion, more and more drivers reported brake problems as well as high tire degradation. Fuel mileage was another concern for some competitors.

Larson overcame all the challenges that Nashville Superspeedway had brought and won the race. Chastain finished in impressive 2nd, while Byron came home 3rd.

UPD: Chase Elliott has been disqualified after the race for five loose lug nuts. Kurt Busch is declared as stage 1 winner.

The top 10 of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville:

Pos.Car no.DriverTeam
1#5Kyle LarsonHendrick Motorsports
2#42Ross ChastainChip Ganassi Racing
3#24William ByronHendrick Motorsports
4#10Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas Racing
5#4Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas Racing
6#47Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty Racing
7#99Daniel SuarezTrackhouse Racing
8#1Kurt BuschChip Ganassi Racing
9#20Christopher BellJoe Gibbs Racing
10#22Joey LoganoTeam Penske
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