Hendrick Motorsports Racing driver Kyle Larson has once again proven to the world that he is not a champion by luck.
With five successful races under his belt in 2022, the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has already scooped one win, one pole and two ten-five finishes.
Larson has experienced three rough racing weekends, including the Daytona 500, Ruoff Mortgage 500 and the recently concluded Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Larson was considered the favorite to win the Atlanta race, considering it's the one the race he hasn’t added in his winning record.
However, things didn’t turn out as expected as he was eliminated early, after Denny Hamlin shoved him from behind and the day was done for both of them. Surprisingly, despite leaving the track early, he emerged leading the field in key statistics ahead of all drivers.
Larson recorded a clean passing differential of 54, leaving Christopher Bell well below him in second with a passing differential of 37. The No. 20 driver of Joe Gibbs Racing placed in a tier with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who also had a passing differential of 37.
Though Larson was unable to collect the win, his teammate William Byron, driving Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports, collected the checkered flag in an astonishing manner. On top of that, he topped the average running position list with an average running position of 4.71.
Toby Christie on Twitter highlighted the average running position in the NASCAR Cup Series race in Atlanta.
Kyle Larson brought win to Hendricks Motorsport at Fontana
Hendrick Motorsports has so far secured three wins in five races. Defending champion Larson delivered the first win in his home state of Fontana.
However, the win attracted criticism after he blocked his teammate Chase Elliott from ending his race earlier than expected, but their boss Rick Hendrick managed to neutralize the situation.
In Las Vegas, Kyle Larson almost clinched a second win of the season, but his teammate Alex Bowman overpowered him, stepping on the checkered ground in front of him. While Larson finished as runner-up, Hendrick Motorsports added a win and a top-three finish to their record.
Despite Kyle Larson having two consecutive races in Fontana and Las Vegas in Phoenix, he ended the race early after his car experienced technical challenges and he was off the tracks before the end of the race.
As NASCAR approached the Atlanta edition, Kyle Larson had high hopes of recovering the lost points, but ended up losing more after he wrecked.
His next hope is to be in Austin, Texas, this weekend for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on March 27th.