Kyle Larson Wins Texas; Claims Second Victory of the Season

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FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series comes to Texas for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. Kyle Busch won last time out at Kansas and that means there are only two chances to advance to Homestead. Brad Keselowski won the pole with Erik Jones to his outside. Two more races, Two more chances secure a spot in the Championship 4. The pressure mounts for the four drivers above and below the cut off line, considering that first and eighth are separated by 31 points. The drivers below the cut off desperately need to win. As Kyle Larson wins Texas, that chance is taken from Xfinity regulars.

Kyle Larson Wins Texas; Claims Second Victory of the Season

Race Recap

Keselowski started on pole and dominated the early parts of the race. Fending off attacks from Kevin Harvick, Jones, and Larson early on. Keselowski went on the lead the most laps of the race at 145 laps lead. On lap 129, Matt DiBenedetto would cut a tire and slam into the outside wall. DiBenedetto was shaken up getting out of his car, and would be taken for further evaluation. He suffered from concussion like symptoms and is being forced to sit out the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. It was announced he would be replaced by Jeffery Earnhardt. Off the late race restart, Larson managed to pass Keselowski and held on to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.

Top 5 from the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge:

  1. #42 Eneos Chevy- Kyle Larson
  2. #22 Discount Tire Ford- Brad Keselowski
  3. #88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy- Kevin Harvick
  4. #20 Gamestop/ Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Toyota- Erik Jones
  5. #19 Arris Toyota- Daniel Suarez

Other notable finishers include:

  • Elliott Sadler in sixth
  • Ryan Sieg in 13th
  • JJ Yeley in 17th
  • Ty Dillon in 16h
  • Brendan Gaughan was the lowest finishing chase driver in 15th.
  • The two Canadians Martin Roy and Dexter Stacey came home 30th and 37th respectively.

Final Thoughts

The Texas race showed fans an example of why NASCAR is implementing the limits on Cup drivers racing in Xfinity next season. As Kyle Larson wins Texas, the top three finishers were Cup drivers who lead 175 of 200 laps. Only two Xfinity regulars, Jones and Brennan Poole, managed to lead laps today. The Texas racetrack has been a hotbed for Cup drivers because of its cookie cutter mile and a half design and layout. That said, it is still a very tough track for the drivers with its high banking in the corners.

Chase Standings following Texas:

  1. #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota- Daniel Suarez +16
  2. #1 JR Motorsports Chevy- Elliott Sadler +15
  3. #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota- Erik Jones +6
  4. #11 Kaulig Racing Chevy- Blake Koch +1
  5. #7 JR Motorsports Chevy- Justin Allgaier -1
  6. #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford- Ryan Reed -5
  7. #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford- Darrell Wallace Jr -20
  8. #62 Richard Childress Racing Chevy- Brendan Gaughan -23

The Xfinity Series will be back in action Saturday November 12th for the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The final race before the Championship 4 at Homestead. The last chance to score a win advance.

 

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