Kyle Larson has developed this interesting skill in the NASCAR Cup Series where he dominates races and then in LeBron James fashion hands the trophy to another driver. Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington was just another example of that skill.
After DOMINATING the Souther 500 leading 284 of 367 laps, Kyle Larson came home third. Handing the win to Brad Keselowski in his Rusty Wallace throwback. It’s just another race that Larson has dominated, he had the best car and then raced his way out of contention in the closing laps.
A caution on lap 345 sent the leaders to pit road for fresh tires to attack the overly abrasive surface at Darlington in the closing laps. Larson’s pit crew was unchallenged all night thanks to his massive lead. On the final pitstop, however, the #2 crew came to play. Getting off pit road first was all Keselowski needed leading the final 22 laps and taking home the trophy.
Kyle Larson has all the talent in the world but at some point, he needs to learn how to close out these races. If Larson had that clutch gene he’d be in double-digit Cup wins easily, instead, he remains at 5 career wins.
Talking Points After The Race
- Austin Dillon roughed up leader Kyle Larson at the end of Stage 1 to stay on the lead lap. It was an overly aggressive move from Dillon and one that Larson wouldn’t forget. At the end of Stage 2, Dillon once again tried to use up Larson as he attempted to put him a lap down. Larson backed off and allowed the #96 of Jeffrey Earnhardt to battle him. As the #96 messed with the #3 coming to the green checkered Larson dove underneath both a nipped Dillon at the line putting him a lap down.
- Spotter Brett Griffin somehow missed Ryan Newman slowing in turn 3 to come onto pit road. His driver Clint Bowyer slammed into Newman like an ARCA driver in any crash.
Ryan Newman tries to hit pit road, but Clint Bowyer had nowhere to go.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 3, 2018
- The Hendrick cars once again showed speed but don’t have much to show for it. Chase Elliott led the way with a 5th place finish. While William Byron ran well in Jeff Gordon’s rainbow paint scheme a blown motor relegated him to 35th. Jimmie Johnson lost an oil pump and finished 39th while Alex Bowman finished 23rd after some early race issues.
- The so-called “BIG 3” were a non-factor nearly all night. Martin Truex Jr led for 30 laps before finishing 11th. Kevin Harvick finished 4th but never was truly a factor. Kyle Busch finished 7th but was hardly mentioned all night.
- When it comes to the points battle barring someone outside of the Top 16 winning at Indianapolis the Playoff field is set.
Darlington is always a fun race to watch. While Larson dominated it was still exciting to watch these guys wheel the car. Anytime a driver has to drive the car and manage the throttle the racing is exponentially better.
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