Kyle Larson’s winless streak reaches 35 races as the last time he won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was in the 2017 regular season finale at the Richmond Raceway. But, for the first 345 laps in Sunday night’s Southern 500, it appeared that he’d be the one celebrating in victory lane at the historic Darlington Raceway.
Instead, a late race caution brought all the leaders back down pit road with 22 laps-to-go and Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet pit crew had a 14-second stop. Brad Keselowski’s crew got him out in a little more than 13 seconds which proved to be the winning move of the race.
Larson, would now restart the race with 20 laps remaining in second place. He led 284 of the first 345 laps including taking both stage wins on Sunday evening. But, once the green flag dropped on the final restart, Larson’s handling went away.
Keselowski, got a great restart and set his sails for a huge victory for his No. 2 Ford. Keselowski’s teammate Joey Logano got by Larson not long after as Larson’s car was extremely loose which caused him to lose the race that was his.
Larson, was by far the most dominant driver out there on Sunday. He lapped all but 14 cars in each of the first two stages and clearly had the car to beat.
He’d hold the field off through a Lap 314 and Lap 328 caution flag periods but on Lap 343, Jeffrey Earnhardt crashed and brought out the sixth and final yellow. That cost Larson the win.
This is the fourth time in his Cup career that he’s led over 200 laps in a race and in all four times he failed to win. This one though, this one has to hurt for Larson.