It came down to a late race restart but Kyle Larson prevailed to win the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. Larson took the lead from Brad Keselowski on lap 119 of 200 when Keselowski got caught up in lap traffic. Larson had to hold off Kevin Harvick and others on a late race restart but prevailed for his second career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in the No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.
Finishing in the second position was Brad Keselowski with Kyle Busch coming home third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Brain Scott fifth. Matt Kenseth finished sixth with Regan Smith seventh, Trevor Bayne eighth, his teammate Chris Buescher ninth and Ty Dillon rounded out the top ten. James Buescher in 11th and Elliott Sadler 12th also finished on the lead lap.
The race started with Kyle Busch on the pole and Busch led early on in the going. Busch stretched the lead out quick as it looked like it would be another dominate Kyle Busch performance. Busch led until the first caution flag flew on lap 24 when Ryan Sieg spun in turn two. Sieg would continue and finish 27th.
The leaders would pit and Kyle Busch won the race off pit road and he led the field to green on the lap 28 restart. On lap 30 Busch’s teammate Matt Kenseth would pass him for the lead and Kenseth didn’t look back on that run. By lap 51 Kenseth’s lead was 1.34 seconds over Brad Keselowski. Keselowski would close in on Kenseth and cut the lead to under a second as Kenseth got caught in lap traffic.
Kenseth would lead the field to lap 80 when Chase Elliott led the brigade of green flag pit stops. The stops would cycle around by lap 87 with Kenseth still in front after Keselowski had pit trouble. Kyle Larson moved to second after the stops.
It was on lap 87 when Chase Elliott crashed hard in Turn 3 to cause the races’ second caution of the afternoon. Something broke on Elliott’s Chevrolet as after the race he said it was not a flat tire that put him in the wall. Elliott's team would need several laps to repair the car but would eventually return to the race. Elliott finished 37th of the 40 cars which cost him the points lead.
When the green flag flew on lap 92 to restart the race Matt Kenseth was still in the lead. However, Kenseth received some pressure from Brad Keselowski after the restart and on lap 96 Keselowski would pass Kenseth for the lead. When the race struck the halfway point, Keselowski was leading with Kyle Larson in second.
Keselowski would stretch the lead but would get caught up in lap traffic and on lap 119 Larson passed Keselowski for the lead and would never look back. Larson had over a second lead throughout the run and even led after green flag pit stops. The races’ third and final caution flag of the day flew when debris was spotted on the backstretch on lap 170.
Larson’s Turner Scott Motorsports crew would get him off pit road first and he led when the race restarted on lap 176. Larson shot out like a cannon on the restart and wouldn’t be touched eventually winning the race by 1.48 seconds. He led a race-high 82 laps.
Other notables in the field included Dylan Kwasniewski in 13th, Ryan Reed 14th, Jeb Burton 15th in his first Nationwide start of the season, Johnny Sauter 16th, and Brendan Gaughan in 17th. Ross Chastain finished 18th in his first run for Viva Motorsports. Landon Cassill had a late issue which relegated him to 30th after running in the top 15 for much of the race.
Regan Smith took the points lead after finishing in the seventh position. Smith leads second place points man Elliott Sadler by five points as the series heads into the Dover International Speedway next weekend. Chase Elliott is now 28 points behind in the third position with Trevor Bayne fourth 35 points back and Ty Dillon is fifth in the standings 36 points back. Brian Scott is sixth in the standings 60 points behind with Brendan Gaughan seventh in the points 105 points back. Eighth in the standings is James Buescher, who is 111 points behind with younger brother Chris Buescher ninth in the standings 119 points back. Dylan Kwasniewski is tenth in points and his 129 points back of Smith.
The next race on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is the Buckle Up 200 Presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, May 31st.
Tags: Brad Keselowski, Brian Scott, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher, History 300, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, Turner Scott Motorsports
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