MI win could have lasting impact for Larson


Larson won the Pure Michigan 400 past year and is also the victor of the 2017 NASCAR season's first trip to Michigan International Speedway, the FireKeepers Casino 400.

On Sunday, the Elk Grove native showed it again.

Martin Truex Jr. dominated the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, but fell prey to Kyle Larson on the final lap.

The win came a day after Chip Ganassi allowed Larson to race in the Knoxville Nationals, a sprint vehicle event in Iowa. Chase Elliott finished second in all three of his previous races at MI. Instead, Martin Truex Jr. stretched his fuel to take the Cup victory on Sunday, just a few auto lengths ahead of a charging Matt Kenseth.

In addition, Larson's late-race heroics came roughly 18 hours after he narrowly missed out on victory in a race that was more than 500 miles away from Michigan International Speedway.

"We didn't have the best vehicle", crew chief Chad Johnston said, "and you usually don't win without the best auto at MI". He has four wins overall, the other coming earlier this season in Fontana. That's one behind Bill Elliott, who won four in a row there between 1985 and 1986, according to The Associated Press.

Three days after that race, Larson was penalized 35 points because his auto failed post-race inspection.

But there was Larson at the end, launching the most ideal restart of his career, vaulting from fourth to first in NASCAR Overtime and somehow driving past prohibitive title contender, championship favorite and race leader Martin Truex Jr.