Larson makes use of up tires, opens door for Blaney’s win at Atlanta


Larson took each stage victories and led a race-high 269 of 325 laps however a 56-lap run on tires at Atlanta Motor Speedway is pushing their limits and because the laps wound down, Blaney’s No. 12 Ford appeared to realize floor shortly.

With eight laps remaining and as Larson and Blaney each approached the lapped automotive of Joey Logano, Blaney dove to the within in Turns 3 and 4 after which pulled up and in entrance of Larson for the lead.

Blaney’s benefit solely grew after that and he finally held off Larson by simply over 2 seconds for his first NASCAR Cup Collection victory of the 2021 season.

Blaney led 25 laps within the race, together with the final 9. The one different driver with double-digit laps led within the race was Denny Hamlin (27).

The win is the fifth of Blaney’s profession and first at Atlanta.

“Gosh, we had an incredible future automotive all day. It took us somewhat bit to get going. I used to be fairly free all day, so we made a very good change to tighten me up the place I wanted it and it regarded like Kyle was getting unfastened,” Blaney mentioned.

“I’m blissful it labored in our favor that there was a pair lengthy runs on the finish that type of allow us to get there. He acquired slowed up behind some lap visitors, however I’m actually happy with this complete (workforce). We’ve been good this yr and had some unhealthy breaks and it’s good to shut out a race like that.

“That was superior.”

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Blaney mentioned thought Larson had the race in hand till the ultimate green-pit stops.

Larson “was loopy quick there the entire race after which we began closing in. Our automotive acquired loads higher there. I feel in direction of the tip of stage two it was beginning to get there after which earlier than that

final inexperienced flag cease it actually got here to life and he was beginning to wrestle getting actually free,” he mentioned.

“I don’t know if the observe modified or what, however we have been simply tightening it up all day. I’m blissful there have been a pair lengthy runs on the finish. That’s the place our robust go well with was and we capitalized on it.”

Alex Bowman completed third, Hamlin was fourth and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five.

Finishing the top-10 have been Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick, who rallied from a flat-tire early within the race, which put him a lap down, to complete within the top-10.

Mentioned Larson: “I feel he only a lot higher there that final stage and it modified up my stream of the race somewhat bit. I might get out to such lead and I might maintain my stuff, run the underside, the place it could be slower, however I might maintain my tires.

“I hate to steer plenty of laps and lose however we had a very good automotive that we dropped at the observe. It was silly quick.”

Stage 3

Following the break between Phases 2 and three, all of the lead-lap vehicles pit with Larson holding off Blaney in a photograph end off pit highway.

The race resumed on Lap 218 with Larson out entrance adopted by Blaney, Bowman, Byron and Kyle Busch.

On Lap 220, the engine let go on Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet in Flip 4, bringing out a warning and sending his automotive to the storage.

 

“We acquired some harm there on that restart. Kyle (Busch) type of spun his tires after which I used to be pushing him and Kurt (Busch) was pushing me,” Elliott mentioned after his race was over.

“All of us simply actually jammed collectively exhausting and ended up hurting the nostril some. So, I don’t know if that had one thing to do with breaking the engine or not.”

All of the lead-lap vehicles pit with Blaney the primary off pit highway. Kyle Busch was penalized for rushing on pit highway and needed to restart from the rear of the sphere.

On the restart on Lap 224, Blaney was adopted by Larson, Bowman, Byron and Hamlin.

Larson acquired again round Blaney on Lap 237 to retake the lead as Blaney picked up a bit of trash on his entrance grille.

Truex and Byron have been the primary two drivers to kick off a last spherical of green-flag pit stops on Lap 267 to tackle new tires and gasoline to make it to the end.

Daniel Suarez, who was working within the top-10, was penalized for rushing on pit highway and needed to make a pass-through penalty beneath inexperienced.

As soon as the cycle of stops was accomplished on Lap 270, Larson remained the chief with a 2.2-second lead over Blaney. Bowman was third, Hamlin fourth and Dillon fifth.

With 25 laps to go, Larson’s lead over Blaney remained steady at about 2.3 seconds. Bowman was third, Hamlin fourth and Kyle Busch ran fifth.

On Lap 317, Blaney lastly labored his means round Elliott to reclaim the lead making an attempt to disclaim Larson what had gave the impression to be an obvious victory.

Stage 2

As soon as once more, Larson had little hassle working to an enormous lead and dominating on his approach to the Stage 2 win. He led 178 of the primary 210 laps of the race.

Blaney was second, virtually 9 second behind Larson. Bowman was third, Kyle Busch fourth and Byron rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Phases 1 and a pair of, the lead-lap vehicles all pit with Larson as soon as once more the primary off pit highway.

Ross Chastain was penalized for an uncontrolled tire throughout his pit cease and needed to restart the race from the rear of the sphere.

The race returned to inexperienced on Lap 113 with Larson out entrance adopted by Kyle Busch and Blaney.

Simply after the restart, the skin lane acquired stacked up and Hamlin acquired into the again of Kurt Busch coming into Flip 1 and set his No. 1 Chevrolet straight up into the wall to carry out a warning.

 

Throughout the warning, a number of drivers took the chance to pit, together with Hamlin, Suarez and Joey Logano. The race returned to inexperienced on Lap 119 with Larson nonetheless main the best way. He was adopted by Blaney and Bowman.

Blaney and Larson swapped the lead on the restart however Larson shortly re-established himself within the high spot.

With 75 laps remaining within the second stage, Larson had constructed up a 4-second lead over Blaney as Bowman ran third.

A handful of vehicles headed down pit highway on Lap 158 to start a spherical of green-flag pit stops to permit groups to tackle new tires and gasoline to make it to the tip of the stage.

Larson cycled again round to the lead on Lap 162 and Bowman had moved into the second spot, greater than 5 seconds behind.

With 25 laps to go within the stage, Larson’s lead over Bowman had ballooned to over 8 seconds whereas Blaney remained in third.

Stage 1

Larson cruised to a dominating Stage 1 victory over Kyle Busch for his second stage win of the 2021 season.

Blaney was third, Kurt Busch fourth and Hamlin rounded out the top-five.

Hamlin, who began on the pole, took command early, simply main the primary 10 laps.

On Lap 11, Tyler Reddick hit the skin wall and did harm to the right-side of his No. 8 Chevrolet, however the race remained inexperienced. He was compelled to pit for repairs.

On Lap 26, NASCAR displayed a contest warning to permit groups to test tire put on. All lead-lap vehicles pit with Larson the primary off pit highway.

Each Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Corey LaJoie have been penalized for rushing on pit highway and needed to restart from the rear of the sphere.

When the race returned to inexperienced on Lap 31, Larson was adopted by Hamlin, Harvick and Blaney. Harvick hit pit highway earlier than the race returned to inexperienced for a flat left-rear tire, which turned out to be attributable to a damaged valve stem.

With 50 laps remaining within the first stage, Larson constructed a 3-second lead over Hamlin with Kyle Busch within the third place.

Hamlin kicked off a spherical of green-flag pit stops on Lap 62 to tackle new tires and gasoline to make it to the end of the stage.

As soon as the spherical of stops was accomplished, Larson cycled again to the lead on Lap 67. Hamlin was second, Kyle Busch third, Blaney fourth and Bowman fifth.

With 20 laps to go within the stage, Larson had constructed up a greater than 6-second lead over Kyle Busch. Hamlin was third, Blaney fourth and Kurt Busch had moved into the top-five.

With 5 laps remaining, Larson had pushed his result in greater than 7.7 seconds over Kyle Busch.

Elliott needed to begin the race from the rear of the sphere resulting from his No. 9 Chevrolet twice failing pre-race inspection.

Timmy Hill needed to begin from the rear and serve a pass-through penalty as soon as he took the inexperienced flag for failing 3 times. He additionally misplaced his automotive chief for the race.

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