Kyle Larson Wins Closest NASCAR Cup Race Ever

Official finish photo of the NASCAR Cup Series | Image by NASCAR
Official finish photo of the NASCAR Cup Series | Image by NASCAR

Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas race on Sunday with the most dramatic finish in history.

Larson officially won the race by just 0.001 seconds, the closest finish ever recorded. Chris Buescher came in second place. The win was Larson’s second of the season and 25th overall, as reported on the official NASCAR website.

The win was set up by a spin-out on Lap 261 of a scheduled 267 that forced a restart. The late-race crash allowed drivers to pit, swap fresh tires, and add fuel, giving the drivers the ability to push down the stretch for the two-lap finale. Kyle Busch spun out to set up the overtime laps.

“That was wild,” said Larson, who had faded from second to fourth before Busch’s spin. “I was obviously thankful for that caution. We were dying pretty bad. Was happy to come out third (off pit road), and figured my best shot was to choose the bottom and try and split three-wide to the inside.

“My car turned well and was able to get some runs. Got through (Turns) 1 and 2 really good down the backstretch and had a big tow on Chris, and got him to kind of enter shallow, and I just committed really hard up top,” Larson said, per NASCAR.

On the final stretch, Larson and Buescher wrestled for position, banging doors twice, but neither lost control. Larson said his car was a little loose on the back stretch, but he was able to maintain position to set up the photo finish.

“Wasn’t quite sure if we were going to make it out the other side. I got super loose in the center, and then we’re just trying to… I’m trying not to get too far ahead of him to where he can side-draft, and then I was just trying to kill his run. It was crazy,” Larson said, according to NASCAR.

Chase Elliott finished third, just 0.059 seconds behind Larson, followed by Martin Truex Jr., who trailed the leader by 0.075 seconds.

“That sucks to be that close,” said Buescher, NASCAR reported. “It was a great finish for us, a really strong day. A lot of speed in this Castrol Edge Ford Mustang, and we really needed that. Needed a win more, and I thought might have had that one.

“Had a lot of speed there firing off. We were really good really all day, and really proud of that. Had some good strategy to get us back up there and tried to cover what I could and gave him half a lane too much, I suppose, but good hard race right there down to the line. But, yeah, it just hurts,” Buescher said.

NASCAR reported 27 lead changes in the race between 10 drivers. The majority of the race was accident-free, with the first caution coming at Lap 176. In all, there were seven cautions taking up 43 laps.

The series heads to the Carolinas for the remainder of May.

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