Special to Missourinet from Bob Priddy
Kyle Larson, who missed almost all of last year’s NASCAR races, has picked up his first win since October, 2019 while becoming the fastest driver to pick up a victory as a driver for Hendrick Motorsports.
Larson Larson led 73 of the last 101 laps at Las Vegas, 103 of the race’s 267, and finished more than three seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski.
Larson lost his job with Chip Ganassi Racing during a Covid-induced break in last year’s NASCAR schedule when he used a racial epithet to refer to another driver during a computerized iRace. He spent the rest of the year running sprint cars and working with minority organizations. He was reinstated as of January 1 and was signed to join the young guns of Hendrick Motorsports. No driver has won a race for Hendrick so soon after signing with the team as Larson has done.
Kyle Busch, third with his best finish of the year, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney completed the top five.
The victory moves Larson into third place in the standings behind Hamlin and Keselowski and makes him the fourth driver to lock up a position in the 16-driver playoff field.