Kyle Larson’s regular season finale win at Richmond was unexpected—and even he admits it.
Martin Truex Jr. led for nearly half of the race, but an overtime wreck knocked him back and presented an opportunity for Larson to steal a victory. On Larson’s final pit stop before an overtime restart, his pit crew worked quickly and effectively to put him in position to win. Larson took advantage and won his fourth race of the season, tying him with Truex for most wins this year.
Larson admitted via Motorsport after the race that he and his team stole the race despite not exactly having the fastest car at the track.
“Yeah, we definitely stole the win, I guess you could say, or our pit crew I felt like stole the win because they got me off as the leader,” Larson said. “Richmond and Martinsville are probably my worst race tracks, and you can throw Loudon in there, too. I know I’ve got some good finishes there and ran really strong there early in the year, but historically these style of tracks don’t suit me.”
Now, Larson can turn his attention to the playoffs and to winning his first championship. The 25-year-old has had a great season, and he, Truex and Kyle Busch are the favorites to win the Cup championship this fall.
While Larson won four times this season, Truex and Busch had far more stage wins. Larson only won three stages, while Truex won 18 and Busch won 11. For Larson to win the championship, he will likely need to be more competitive with those two drivers for stage victories.
But if Larson and his pit crew continue to find ways to win races when they don’t necessarily have the fastest car, they will be right in the middle of the picture for the Cup championship this season.