CONCORD, N.C. -- It didn't take long for Kyle Larson to bring home his first Hendrick Motorsports win. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE took the checkered flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in just the fourth race of the season.
Larson's victory with Hendrick Motorsports makes him the fastest driver in team history to secure his first win. The 28-year-old driver previously had two runner-up finishes in Las Vegas and nine total second-place results at 1.5-mile tracks before he earned his first mile-and-a-half win Sunday evening. Cliff Daniels was gifted with his first win as a crew chief, as well.
"It was such an awesome race car," Larson said. "Cliff and everybody did a great job preparing this piece. It was so much fun to drive. I could go wherever I wanted to. I knew we had a really good car once we would kind of get single-filed out; but just drafting early in the run was tough.
"But thank you so much Mr. (Rick) Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports for the amazing opportunity I’ve been gifted."
Teammate William Byron notched a top-10 finish with an eighth-place result one week after his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Chase Elliott crossed the finish line 13th and Alex Bowman placed 27th.
Take a look below to see how the Hendrick Motorsports drivers performed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Larson rolled off the grid third and bobbled back and forth between that position and second within the first four laps. He settled in third nine laps into the race after teammate Chase Elliott passed him.
- Larson edged to second during Lap 22 after Elliott passed William Byron for the lead. He remained in that position when the competition caution was waved three laps later.
- Larson restarted as the lead after the race off pit road but soon fell back to third. He jumped to first on the 45th lap and kept that position through the second caution.
- Right after the restart, Larson was in a battle for first. He fell back to second by the 54th lap and was down to fourth two laps later. Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE appeared to get tight and he dropped to 10th with 12 laps to go in the stage. He finished Stage 1 in 12th place.
- Larson gained three spots on pit road and started the second stage ninth. He surged to fifth just 12 laps into the stage and was in second by Lap 106. It took just a lap for Larson to take the lead for the second time.
- He pitted under green on Lap 127 and worked his way to sixth with 23 laps left in Stage 2. Two laps later, Larson was driving in fourth place. He finally took over the top position with less than 10 laps left and won Stage 2.
- Larson remained first for the beginning of Stage 3. The fifth caution forced Larson to drop to third one lap into the restart. He dropped to fourth when the sixth caution flag came out, allowing him to pit and restart 11th.
- Larson charged up the field and was fifth with 77 laps to go. He moved to second place several laps later and took the lead with 61 laps left. Larson pitted right after a round of stops in the middle of the stage and was third after the field cycled through.
- By Lap 237, Larson resumed the lead. He didn’t relinquish the top stop through the rest of the race, earning his first win on a 1.5-mile track.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott kicked off the race in eighth place. He broke into the top five in third by the fifth lap, tailing teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson. It only took 10 laps for Elliott to move into second place and put the pressure on leader Byron.
- Elliott snagged the lead from Byron during Lap 22 and remained in the top spot when the competition caution fell three laps later. The NASCAR Cup Series champion was third several laps after the restart. He was down to fourth when the second caution waved on Lap 45.
- Elliott moved to third with 25 laps left in Stage 1. He fought for second and soon was trailing the leader by less than 10 seconds. Six laps later, Elliott was in the lead – a position in hot pursuit as the stage wound down. Elliott fell to second before the first stage ended.
- He had to pit twice between stage breaks to repair right side damage and restarted 29th. Elliott charged to 17th 15 laps into the stage and was 14th another 15 laps later. He pitted under green and was 21st by Lap 129. He broke into the top 10 with less than 10 laps left in Stage 2 and finished 10th.
- Elliott started Stage 3 ninth but sustained damage on the front bumper after he got loose and hit the outside wall. A fifth caution was brought out and Elliott restarted 27th after he pitted for repairs. He was up to 25th when the sixth caution waved with 88 laps to go.
- Elliott was 15th on the restart. He dropped to 17th a third of the way through the stage. After a round of pit stops, Elliott was down to 24th on Lap 225. He jumped to 18th once the field cycled over and was 15th with 20 laps to go. Elliott gained two spots before the checkered flag waved and ended the race.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron started the race on the front row in second place and shot out to first within the first lap. On Lap 22, Byron lost the lead to teammate Chase Elliott and settled in third place after Kyle Larson passed him, as well. Byron was in third when the competition caution waved after Lap 25.
- The 23-year-old driver restarted seventh and was eighth when the second caution came out on Lap 45. Byron pitted for four tires and fuel and returned to the track 12th. He quietly moved up the track and crossed the finish line seventh by the end of Stage 1.
- Byron restarted eighth and jumped to fifth less than 10 laps into Stage 2. He soon battled teammate Alex Bowman for sixth place and passed Larson for fourth by Lap 93.
- Byron and Larson soon battled for second and Byron settled in third. He became the leader on Lap 127 after much of the field pitted. Byron headed down pit road two laps later and came out 12th.
- The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro was back in the top 10 in ninth place by Lap 140. He picked his way through the field and finished Stage 2 and crossed the finish line fourth.
- Byron stalled getting out of his pit stall and returned to the track 12th for the start of Stage 3. He was 10th during the fifth caution and fell to 12th for the restart. He surged to sixth with 90 laps to go ahead of Bowman when another caution came out.
- Byron returned to the track fifth and quickly moved to third. He dropped back to sixth with 65 laps to go. After pitting halfway through the stage, Byron was ninth. He edged to eighth and maintained that position until the end of the race.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman rounded out the Hendrick Motorsports drivers with a ninth-place start. He dropped to 12th by the third lap but returned to ninth by Lap 11.
- Bowman edged to seventh by Lap 20 and remained in that spot during the first caution of the race. He restarted fifth and was in sixth place by Lap 40.
- After the second caution from another yellow flag on Lap 45, Bowman restarted ninth after he pitted and gained a spot on pit road. He fell back to eighth within several laps of resumed racing but slowly worked his way into the top five, placing fifth before Stage 1 ended.
- Bowman gained two spots on pit road and started Stage 2 in third place. He dropped to sixth by Lap 109 and remained in the top 10 until he pitted 125 laps into the race.
- After returning the track, Bowman was 13th with 30 laps left in the second stage. He settled in sixth place 10 laps later and ended Stage 2 in that position.
- Bowman started Stage 3 third after gaining three spots off pit road. He dropped to sixth within two laps and was seventh when another yellow flag dropped. After pitting, Bowman was 19th when racing resumed.
- He edged to 14th with 61 laps left and was in 12th nine laps later. Bowman opted to pit with 45 laps left and came back out 15th.
- The 27-year-old driver jumped to ninth with less than 20 laps left in the race. He suffered a blown tire and was able to quickly get to pit road. However, he received a penalty for speeding, sending him to the rear of the field. Bowman crossed the finish line 27th at the end of the race.