Yung Money to Big Money: Kyle Larson wins NASCAR’s $1 million All-Star Race
Held at Texas for the first time
Kyle Larson is no doubt on top of the world. The Hendrick Motorsports driver added a $1 million feather in his cap to what has be his best season ever season Sunday night.
Larson, who has already won three Cup races in 2021, held off a hard charging Brad Keselowski in the final 10 laps of NASCAR’s All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway collecting the $1 million prize for the second time in his career.
Despite one of the more confusing formats for the non-points event it was Hendrick Motorsports who dominate the racing as they have done all season.
But it was Larson who came out on top in the final 10-lap shootout of the 100 laps run.
“Honestly, I can't believe it,” Larson said. “That second run there, we were really bad, and I was like, man, we're in trouble. I went backwards that round. I was like, this is -- we got an uphill battle and did not imagine seeing myself winning this race today, but Cliff and everybody worked so hard on this thing, made some good adjustments throughout those second and third rounds and got us in position.”
Larson won the first and last of the six rounds All-Star format, leading 17 of the 100 laps. It was his second All-Star win, adding to the Open win that led to an All-Star win at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2019.
“That last restart worked out exactly how I needed it to,” Larson said. “I wanted Chase to not get a good run down the back. Thankfully I think the 12 got to his inside, and I just shoved him down the back and he probably thought I was going to just follow him and I was like, There's got to be enough grip where we'd be running for one corner. It was a little slick up there but I was able to get it and hold him off from there.”
Larson started the race from pole after a random draw and led nine of the first 15 laps which gained him an edge in the cumulative scoring that determined the lineup for later rounds. The first four Rounds featured inversions of the field at the end of each.
Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott won the other rounds as all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers claimed round wins.
Keselowski finished second by .206 of a second with Elliott third.
“It feels like just to run second to the Hendrick cars right now is kind of an accomplishment,” Keselowski said. “They're just stupid fast, and I had him off of Turn 4 but they just have so much speed. He just motored right on back by me, like damn.”
Elliott’s No. 9 crew also pocketed a $100,000 bonus for recording the fastest service during the mandatory four-tire pit stop in Round 5.
“Yeah, we had a badass stop,” Elliott said. “I knew when they dropped the jack that it was close. They did a really good job and I’m proud of them for that. Hopefully, we’ll carry some of that momentum forward and try to get to victory lane.”
Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five. Aric Almirola, Ross Chastain, and Tyler Reddick raced their way in via the All-Star Open, Matt DiBenedetto won the fan vote.
NASCAR Cup Series Race Results NASCAR All Star Race
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, Texas
Sunday, June 13, 2021
(1) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 100.
(9) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 100.
(6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 100.
(7) Joey Logano, Ford, 100.
(17) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 100.
(15) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 100.
(8) William Byron, Chevrolet, 100.
(20) Aric Almirola, Ford, 100.
(2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 100.
(13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 100.
(3) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 100.
(11) Michael McDowell, Ford, 100.
(10) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 100.
(4) Cole Custer, Ford, 100.
(12) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 100.
(19) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 100.
(21) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 100.
(18) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 100.
(5) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 100.
(14) Ryan Newman, Ford, 100.
(16) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 100.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 84.919 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 45 Mins, 59 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.206 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 7 for 0 laps.
Lead Changes: 10 among 8 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Busch 1-6;K. Larson 7-15;R. Blaney 16-30;M. DiBenedetto 31-36;A. Bowman 37-45;W. Byron 46-75;B. Keselowski 76-79;C. Elliott 80-91;B. Keselowski 92;K. Larson 93-100.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): William Byron 1 time for 30 laps; Kyle Larson 2 times for 17 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 15 laps; Chase Elliott 1 time for 12 laps; Alex Bowman 1 time for 9 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 6 laps; Matt DiBenedetto 1 time for 6 laps; Brad Keselowski 2 times for 5 laps.