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NASCAR results at Richmond: Kyle Larson rallies for win as playoff field set

Omnisport
NEWS
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56   //    10 Sep 2017, 09:00 IST
Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson

Some desperate drivers ran up front at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night, doing anything they could to score the victory they needed to qualify for the NASCAR playoffs starting next weekend.

In the end, they all went home disappointed, as Kyle Larson — already safely qualified for the postseason — claimed the checkered flag.

It's Larson's fourth victory of 2017, and his fifth career win.

"I got the greatest team out here and definitely the best pit crew — they were money all night," Larson told NBCSN.

"This is incredible to have four wins with still 10 races left in the season."

The race set the 16-driver field for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs (see playoffs listing below), which begins next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr., the series leader heading into the playoffs, appeared to be sailing to an easy victory with a handful of laps remaining when a caution came out to set up overtime. In the round of pit stops before the restart, Larson's Chip Ganassi Racing team got him off pit road first, with Truex just behind him.

Larson bolted out to the lead on the first lap of overtime, and when Denny Hamlin and Truex tangled on the second lap, sending Truex into the wall, Larson won the race.

Five drivers desperately needing a win to qualify for the playoffs, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez, all raced in the top 10 late in the race chasing the checkered flag. Larson's victory ruined their efforts.

The race's third stage featured a bizarre incident. After a caution for Danica Patrick's spin, NASCAR opened pit road. But as cars dove down the track to hit the pits, they found an ambulance blocking the entrance. Several cars were damaged in the incident.

"Well, we're all just kind of coming to pit road and I see an ambulance sitting there," Matt Kenseth told NBCSN. "Not really sure why pit road was open with an ambulance sitting there."

Earlier in the race, Truex won the second segment to pick up yet another stage win, his series-leading 18th of the season. He now enters the postseason with 53 playoff points, 20 points ahead of second-place Larson. Kyle Busch won the first stage.

NASCAR playoffs field:

1. Martin Truex Jr. 2,053
2. Kyle Larson 2,033
3. Kyle Busch 2,029
4. Brad Keselowski 2,019
5. Jimmie Johnson 2,017
6. Kevin Harvick 2,015
7. Denny Hamlin 2,013
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2,010
9. Ryan Blaney 2,008
10. Chase Elliott 2,006
11. Ryan Newman 2,005
12. Kurt Busch 2,005
13. Kasey Kahne 2,005
14. Austin Dillon 2,005
15. Matt Kenseth 2,005
16. Jamie McMurray 2,003

Finishing order for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

1. Kyle Larson
2. Joey Logano
3. Ryan Newman
4. Kurt Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Erik Jones
7. Daniel Suarez
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Kyle Busch
10. Chase Elliott
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Kasey Kahne
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Michael McDowell
17. Aric Almirola
18. Ryan Blaney
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Martin Truex Jr.
21. Austin Dillon
22. Ty Dillon
23. Danica Patrick
24. Clint Bowyer
25. Trevor Bayne
26. AJ Allmendinger
27. David Ragan
28. Paul Menard
29. Corey LaJoie
30. Reed Sorenson
31. Matt DiBenedetto
32. Chris Buescher
33. Cole Whitt
34. Jeffrey Earnhardt
35. Gray Gaulding
36. Derrike Cope
37. B.J. McLeod
38. Matt Kenseth
39. Landon Cassill

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