After several late restarts at Firekeepers Casino 400, 24-year old driver Kyle Larson won his second race of the season.
Larson’s win is his second consecutive victory at Michigan International Speedway. He also won last August.
Martin Truex Jr. led after the first two stages of the race, but the last 48 laps were filled with drama. After a caution flag came out for Ryan Sieg, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Erik Jones gambled and took two tires while the rest of the drivers took four. Those three started 1-3 on the restart, while Truex Jr. was on the third row. He had difficulty adjusting, and fell to ninth.
Eventually, Busch faded back, while Larson, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney leapt to the front. But with 21 laps to go, a caution flag came out again after debris was spotted on the track. Two laps later, the caution flags came out again after Clint Bowyer hit the wall.
After another wreck a few laps later, Larson took control after yet another restart and won the race.
The win moved Larson into first place in the points standings. Larson moved ahead of Martin Truex Jr. despite the latter leading for most of the race.
NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon said Larson is “the next Jimmie Johnson.”
It was another missed opportunity for Kyle Busch, who led late in the race yet again but couldn’t pick up his first win of the season. Busch is still near the top in points, but a win would certainly ease some tension for him down the stretch.
Larson will look to defend his title next week at Sonoma Raceway.