AUSTIN, Texas – Kyle Larson completed a great late-race rally, going from restarting 21st on lap 46 to taking the checkered flag in first to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). 

Driving the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro, Larson took advantage of fresh tires and final-lap contact between Shane van Gisbergen and Austin Hill to win. The victory was the first for Hendrick Motorsports since its return to the series in 2022. 

PHOTOS: See the weekend in pictures for Larson and the No. 17 team

"It feels really special," Larson told FOX Sports 1's Regan Smith on winning in the No. 17. "I feel like every time we have run this 17 car, whether it be any of us four (full-time) drivers, we are always the fastest on the track and we somehow give it away. Today, I was definitely not the fastest, but we were patient. 

"I knew the 21 (Austin Hill) had shoved SVG (Shane van Gisbergen) through (turn) one, so I knew if he got to him it could get dicey. I was thinking when to make my move and thankfully, I saw him (van Gisbergen) shoot low through (turns) 15 and 16 and shove him (Hill). I was like, alright, 'this will get good.' Thankfully, I cleared them off of that corner. Pretty crazy and wild there."

Larson took the second NASCAR Overtime restart from 10th and was up to third with one lap to go. He gained on van Gisbergen and Hill in the closing turns and as the two of them came together, Larson got by the duo coming out of turn 17 and held the lead the rest of the way. He led one lap on the day, but it was the lap that mattered the most. 

The Elk Grove, California native's last-race rally was made possible by the decision to pit under yellow with three laps to go in regulation. Larson, who spent all of the final stage running in the top five to that point, told crew chief Greg Ives that he had flat-spotted a tire. Larson came down pit road under yellow and took fresh tires, an advantage that ultimately paid dividends for him in the finish. Restarting 21st on lap 46, he drove up to 13th in one lap. When others had to pit under yellow on lap 48, Larson took over 10th before the final restart ahead of his victory. 

"I thought when we pitted there would be more people to pit with us," Larson said. "When they didn't, I was like if I can get back to the top 10, that would be OK. It just worked out. Happy that Greg (Ives) listened to me that my right front was shot there. It is awesome to win at COTA."

Larson had more than one comeback on the day. The 31-year-old earned the seventh Xfinity Series pole of his career. However, the team had to replace a cracked brake rotor and that sent the No. 17 to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments at the start of the race. Larson finished the stage in 11th. Because the team pitted with four to go in the opening stage, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion gained significant track position for the second stage and restarted third. He moved up to second and challenged AJ Allmendinger for the lead before pitting from third on lap 28. 

Larson has 15 wins in the Xfinity Series and has earned a victory in the last three seasons. For his career, he has 115 Xfinity starts with 57 top-five finishes and 81 top-10s. He will be back in the No. 17 in July on the Chicago Street Course. For Ives, this is the seventh win in the Xfinity Series for the 2014 championship-winning crew chief. 

Look at every win for Hendrick Motorsports in the Xfinity Series

Hendrick Motorsports now has 27 wins in the Xfinity Series and one championship (2003). The victory is the team’s first since 2009, when Tony Stewart won the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. The Rick Hendrick-owned organization did not compete in the series from 2010 to 2021 before running limited schedules in 2022 and 2023. The victory is the first for Hendrick Motorsports in the Xfinity Series with the No. 17.

The No. 17 car number has a rich history with Hendrick Motorsports. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip drove it to nine wins for the team from 1987 to 1990, including in the 1989 DAYTONA 500. Ricky Hendrick also drove the car number in various races, including the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in 2000 and 2001. The paint scheme is based on the No. 17 truck driven by Hendrick during his 2001 rookie season.

"I got to talk to Rick and Linda (Hendrick) before pulling into victory lane and you could just hear how proud they were to see that car in victory lane," Larson said. 

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The next Xfinity Series race for Hendrick Motorsports will be at Darlington Raceway on May 11. Byron will be the driver and No. 24 lead engineer Brandon McSwain will be the crew chief for the second of their four races together. All told, the No. 17 team is running 10 races this year. In addition to Byron (four starts) and Larson (two starts), Chase Elliott (two starts), Alex Bowman (one start) and Boris Said (one start) will hop in the car. Ives will be the crew chief for the non-Byron races.