Kyle Larson cannot be stopped. In Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, the first in the area since 1984 at the Fairgrounds and the first at the Lebanon track, Larson led 226 of 330 laps en route to his third straight points victory and fourth in as many weeks (including the exhibition All-Star Race).
Larson started fifth while Aric Almirola won his first pole since Atlanta in 2019. His Hendrick Motorsports team-mate William Byron was sent to the rear for unapproved adjustments, as were Quin Houff and Erik Jones.
Houff’s race quickly came to an end when his right-front wheel detached and sent him into the wall on the opening lap. Larson would take the lead for the restart. Additional incidents came with Tyler Reddick spinning followed by Blaney’s two wrecks, the second of which came due to a brake failure and ended his day. Multiple drivers would also suffer tyre or brake issues throughout the race. Chase Elliott took the stage win, which was rolled over to Kurt Busch when Elliott was disqualified. The revised top ten after Elliott’s penalty was Busch, Larson, Daniel Suárez, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, and Denny Hamlin.
Bubba Wallace provided the lone incident of Stage #2 when he spun. The segment was the Kyle Show as Larson and Busch were the only drivers to lead laps in it, and the former would take the stage win. Dillon, Chase Briscoe, Byron, Busch, Hamlin, Stenhouse, Almirola, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch followed.
The third stage began on lap 191 with Larson continuing to lead. Ryan Preece spun seven laps later, followed by Wallace doing so again on lap 219. Briscoe wrecked on lap 228. Larson led at the restart and held off Ross Chastain to win his tenth career Cup race. Chastain, incidentally driving the Chip Ganassi Racing #42 that Larson previously raced until his suspension last year, finished a career-best second.
“We’ve had probably the best race car on the racetrack for at least a month and a half,” said Larson. “Good to take advantage of it, get another win. Able to jump out to a lead right from the get-go, basically lead the rest of the race. If it wasn’t for the cautions at the ends of the stages, we had a near perfect day.
“It’s awesome to get multiple wins in a row now in the Cup Series; I mean, really it’s four wins in a row. Just cool to do that. Didn’t think that was possible ever for me in the Cup Series anyways. I’ve gone on streaks in dirt racing and stuff before, but never been close to doing anything like that in Cup.
“[…] To get to now double-digit point paying wins is great. I’d like to keep winning and keep inching my name up the winner’s list not only at NASCAR but at Hendrick Motorsports, too. I think that’s important to me.”
Although Larson had plenty of reason to celebrate, Hendrick team-mate Elliott did not. After finishing thirteenth, he was disqualified as his car was found to have five loose lug nuts in post-race inspection; three or more automatically resulted in a disqualification.
“If it had come off and we crash, we would then get to keep our stage points? Honest question,” Elliott tweeted afterwards.
|1||5||5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|2||19||42||Ross Chastain||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|3||4||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|4||1||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||300||Running|
|5||12||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||300||Running|
|6||14||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|7||22||99||Daniel Suárez||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|8||30||1||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|9||25||20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||300||Running|
|10||3||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||300||Running|
|11||2||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||300||Running|
|12||28||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|13||29||6||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||300||Running|
|14||8||48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|15||24||7||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|16||23||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||300||Running|
|17||18||38||Anthony Alfredo||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||300||Running|
|18||26||8||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|19||9||43||Erik Jones||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running|
|20||21||23||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing||Toyota||299||Running|
|21||13||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||299||Running|
|22||35||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||299||Running|
|23||15||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||299||Running|
|24||11||21||Matt DiBenedetto||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||298||Running|
|25||36||53||Garrett Smithley*||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet||298||Running|
|26||34||52||Josh Bilicki||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||298||Running|
|27||32||51||J.J. Yeley*||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet||298||Running|
|28||31||78||B.J. McLeod*||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford||295||Running|
|29||37||15||Joey Gase*||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet||295||Running|
|30||7||41||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||252||Running|
|31||16||14||Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||227||Accident|
|32||20||37||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||197||Brakes|
|33||33||66||Chad Finchum*||MBM Motorsports||Toyota||157||Rear End|
|34||38||13||David Starr*||MBM Motorsports||Toyota||126||Brakes|
|35||27||77||Justin Haley*||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||79||Accident|
|36||17||17||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||77||Accident|
|37||10||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||53||Accident|
|38||39||00||Quin Houff||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||0||Accident|
|39||6||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||Running (DQ)|
* – Ineligible for Cup points