The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro has added another NASCAR Cup Series trophy to his collection. Kyle Larson won the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Roval, his seventh victory of the season, and secured his spot in the Round of Eight. He also made history in the process.
According to the NBC broadcast, Larson became the first driver in Cup Series history to win three different road course races in the same season. He captured the checkered flag at Sonoma Raceway on June 6, Watkins Glen on August 8, and the Charlotte Roval on October 10. Two of these wins helped him win the regular-season championship while the third kept him alive in the championship chase.
Larson also swept the NASCAR trips to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. He won the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 after leading 327 laps. This win kicked off a three-race winning streak that also included Sonoma and Nashville Superspeedway. According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, Larson is the first driver since Kasey Kahne in 2006 to sweep the Charlotte Races.
With the Charlotte Roval race complete, eight drivers will move on to the Round of Eight. Hamlin and Larson both secured their spots with wins while Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney all stacked enough points. Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick all fell below the cutline.
Larson Dealt With Adversity Throughout the Playoff Race
The trip to Victory Lane was not a simple journey. The driver of the No. 5 had to deal with some significant issues that were out of his control. Specifically, he was one of two drivers — along with Bowman — that began to lose power and had to switch out batteries during the race.
Larson noticed that he was starting to lose power, prompting crew chief Cliff Daniels to bring him down pit road. The No. 5 team changed the battery and sent Larson back onto the track, but he had to make another stop so the crew could replace the alternator belt.
These mandatory stops dropped Larson outside of the top 30 and below the playoff cutline. However, he continued pushing and made his way back into the top five during the final stage. Larson used a crossover move to pass Hamlin on Lap 102 and then held off both Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher until the end of the race.
I didn’t really feel that good early,” Larson told NBC after the win. “Started changing things up. They were doing a good job letting me know what to do inside the cockpit to get better. At about that time, I noticed that my battery was going low. So I was starting to get stressed out, like, ‘man, I’m not going to get knocked out of the playoffs like this.'”
Larson Remains in a Solid Position Entering the Round of 8
Now that Larson has won his seventh race of the season, he enters the Round of 8 in a solid position to reach the championship race. He has a staggering 65 playoff points, the most in the Cup Series, and he sits 42 points ahead of the cutline.
There is no guarantee that Larson will reach the championship race at Phoenix. Though he will enter the final cutoff round as one of the favorites considering his past success at Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway.
Larson has a combined 39 starts at the three tracks — 13 at each. He has not won a points-paying race but has posted eight top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. This includes a runner-up at Kansas in 2014 behind Joey Logano. Larson also won the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.
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