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Kyle Larson Wins Go Bowling at the Glen | NASCAR Cup Series Recap

For the first time in two years, the NASCAR Cup Series made their return to Upstate New York. Watkins Glen International hosted the Go Bowling at the Glen this past Sunday afternoon. The race stayed pretty clean throughout despite some spins. With only four races to go in the regular season drivers needed to put themselves in a good position to make the playoffs. While Kyle Larson clinched his NASCAR Playoffs spot long ago, he is now in a position to also claim the regular-season points championship after picking up his fifth win of the year.

Kyle Larson NASCAR Cup Series recap Go Bowling at The Glen Watkins Glen International
Credit: Jared Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR Cup Series Recap | Kyle Larson Wins at Watkins Glen

Go Bowling at the Glen Stage 1

The Team Penske trio earned starting spots 1-3 and led the field to the green. Ryan Newman spun his car in Turn 1 on Lap 2 for the first incident of the day. Given that Watkins Glen International is a road course, the race stayed green despite it. Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski got away from the field until he spun just before the competition caution came out. He fell back to sixth in the ordeal, and that is when people realized he had a braking issue.

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Since this is a road course, several teams tried to play the strategy game early on by pitting before the stage break. Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto and others would pit early to try and gain an advantage. Joey Logano was able to hold off Kyle Larson to get the Stage 1 win.

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Go Bowling at the Glen Stage 2

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stayed out during the stage break and took over the lead by doing so. It did not last as Chase Briscoe dove to the inside on the restart and made the pass. Martin Truex Jr. had the momentum on the outside though and was able to pass Briscoe shortly after. Just as Ryan Blaney spun in the inner loop, a caution came out as James Davison was stopped on the track between Turns 6 and 7. That would not bother MTJ however as he went on to win Stage 2.

Go Bowling at the Glen Final Stage

Martin Truex Jr. and a lot of others stayed out during the stage break and led the field back to the green. The apparent strategy was to complete the entire race on just two pit stops, a true test of fuel mileage and conservation. Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell made contact after Larson locked up the brakes in Turn 1. He hit Bell and sent him around as a result. More drama between teammates would ensue later on as Brad Keselowski hit Joey Logano, sending them both into the Turn 1 runoff.

A different pit strategy play almost worked for Chase Elliott as he was closing in on Larson late. In the end, he simply ran out of laps. Kyle Larson conserved enough fuel to reach the checkered flag and picked up his fifth win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. This marked Larson’s second road course win of the year and first career NASCAR victory at Watkins Glen International.

Final Go Bowling at the Glen Thoughts

The race from my vantage point at the track seemed boring. I thought that it could have been better, but it is what it is. Kyle Larson further proved why he should gain recognition as an elite NASCAR road course racer like his teammate, Chase Elliott. The points battle at the playoff cutline loosened up a little as Tyler Reddick gained a few points on teammate Austin Dillon. With three races to go, we still may see another new winner earn their way into the postseason.

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