CONCORD, N.C. – Kyle Larson's runner-up finish in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway marked his fifth top-five result, the best among all drivers in the series. 

Larson also increased his series-best laps led total to 570 through 11 races with 39 circuits out front. He also won stage two to pick up his sixth stage win of the year—no other driver has more than two this year. 

Recap the Dover race

The 31-year-old driver came 0.25 seconds short of becoming the third multi-time winner this season – joining Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron and race winner Denny Hamlin in that club.

"When I got the restart as a leader (on lap 329), I went late in the zone," Larson said. "Martin (Truex Jr.) was trying to time it behind me. He hit me right when I wanted to go. I got a lot of wheel spin.

"He (Denny Hamlin) was kind of able to out-race me into one. His car was really good on the short runs. I could pace it and get closer to him at the end of the runs. I knew when I got within three car lengths, he was going to start moving around. I was trying all sorts of different angles and speeds. Nothing could generate enough speed to get close enough. That was a bummer. 

"A great day for our Chevy team. We started 21st and drove up to fifth in the first stage. Got a stage win (in stage two) and had a good points day. We would have loved to get a win."

PHOTOS: See every win for Kyle Larson at Hendrick Motorsports

Larson left Dover as the Cup Series points leader for the fourth consecutive week. He holds a 15-marker advantage over Truex Jr. as the Elk Grove, California, native looks for his second regular-season championship in four years at Hendrick Motorsports. Larson won that on the road to his 2021 title—which came in his first season driving the No. 5 Chevrolet. 

In fact, Larson has commented several times that this season feels a bit like his title season. Do the numbers support that comparison? Let's see how each compares. 

2021 through 11 races
Win: One (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
Top fives: Four
Top 10s: Six
Laps led: 512
Average finish: 15.0
Stage wins: Four
Standings position: Ninth

2024 through 11 races
Win: One (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
Top fives: Five
Top 10s: Five
Laps led: 570
Average finish: 11.7
Stage wins: Six
Standings position: First

Larson is better in nearly every statistical measure in 2024 than he was at this point in 2021. He has spent 54.9% (1,808) of his laps run this season (3,255) in the top five. In the offseason, the driver noted that achieving more consistent finishes was a pivotal point of improvement when reflecting on his previous season and looking ahead to this year. 

PHOTOS: See every angle of the No. 5 throwback for Darlington

At this point in the 2021 season, he and crew chief Cliff Daniels were about to go on a run that saw them finish second in three consecutive races before knocking off three straight victories—including Hendrick Motorsports' record-breaking 269th Cup Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2021. The three-race win streak was one of two that year for Larson—the second came in the playoffs to solidify his Round of 8 and Championship 4 spots. It is easy to overlook that in a season of 10 wins, nine of those came in the final 22 races of the season.

Since being paired in 2021, Larson and Daniels have won the most Cup races (17) in the sport and the duo's seven Next Gen wins as a driver-crew chief combo rank third in the series. Larson's 18 wins over that time are the most among all drivers. The No. 5 pit crew has been one of the fastest on pit road this year—ranking second for the fastest average four-tire pit stop (entering Sunday's race at Dover) among all teams. It is a crew that has grown from its championship win (four of the five crew members were part of the title team in 2021) and the five-person unit has been together since the middle of the 2022 season.  

Larson has won at the next three points-paying tracks on the schedule with Hendrick Motorsports: Kansas Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. While his month of May is sure to be busy with all the Indianapolis 500 on-track activity he'll have with Arrow McLaren; it is a favorable stretch of tracks that also includes the All-Star Race, where he is the defending winner at North Wilkesboro Speedway. 

RELATED: Harvick to serve as 'standby driver' for Larson at All-Star Race

Is the No. 5 team knocking on the door of going on a similar hot streak to 2021? The relatively similar numbers suggest it is more than possible.