BRISTOL, TN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson and Kurt Busch each earned top 10 finishes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Larson finished 6th in the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet after starting in 2nd place. Larson also won the races first stage.
Larson and eventual winner Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing battled early and often with Hamlin leading the first 14-laps after starting in the top spot. Larson took the lead on lap 15 and held it until lap 24 when Hamlin got around him.
Larson battled back retaking the lead on lap 39. Hamlin started working Bristol’s high line and passed Larson on lap 46. Hamlin remained out front until lap 84 when Larson passed him and led the next 45-laps, when he pitted for service after the Stage 1 win.
Larson’s 6th place finish has him currently in the 11th spot in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Points Standing, one point ahead of Hendrick Motorsports William Byron and ten points behind Hendrick’s Alex Bowman. Larson is the 2nd highest driver in the points standings without a victory.
Drivers with a victory are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. 9-Drivers have won races (Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman), leaving 7-spots for drivers in the top 16.
Another good Bristol for us. Had winning speed for sure. Wish it would have worked out a little better but still a good night. Ready for my “off week” in California racing 5 races in 4 days on the dirt!
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) August 18, 2019
Busch finished 9th in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet after starting in 4th place. Busch won the races second stage and finished 9th in Stage 1.
— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) August 18, 2019
Busch currently sits in 8th place in the points standings, 16-points behind Elliott and 55-points ahead of Ryan Blaney, who does not have a victory. Busch’s win at Kentucky guarantees him a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs.
The Cup Series is off next week and returns September 1st at Darlington Raceway for the annual “throwback weekend”.