The NASCAR Cup Series continued their season this weekend with the first leg of the West Coast swing. Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the Pennzoil 400 as the fourth race of the year. The race was exciting throughout, with many battles going on all across the track. In the end, the best car earned the win as Kyle Larson crossed the finish line first.
NASCAR Cup Series Recap | Kyle Larson Wins at Las Vegas
Pennzoil 400 Stage 1
Kevin Harvick started on the pole for the race based on NASCAR’s starting grid formula. That did not last long as he quickly fell through the field without ever leading a lap. William Byron continued to carry the momentum of last week’s win into the Pennzoil 400 and led in the early going. His teammate, Chase Elliott, took over and would lead to the competition caution on Lap 25.
Denny Hamlin surged to the lead on the restart and would hold it until a caution for debris with 33 to go in the stage. While several frontrunners went back down pit lane, Kyle Larson stayed out to take the lead. The restart produced a three-wide battle for the lead that would last three whole laps. Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano all wanted to get out front. Logano ultimately gained the advantage but quickly lost the lead to Elliott and continued to fall back. Elliott and Keselowski traded the lead back-and-forth for several laps until Keselowski was able to get away and get the stage one win.
Pennzoil 400 Stage 2
Honestly, not a lot happened in stage two. Larson was able to get the lead early on. He increased it to a whopping six seconds after green flag pit stops cycled through. Gambles by drivers such as Tyler Reddick, Michael McDowell and Daniel Suarez to stay out and catch a caution backfired as the stage was run completely under green. NASCAR Cup Series rookie Anthony Alfredo led his first career lap part of the group who chose to stay out. After everyone cycled through, Larson was on his way to his first stage win of the year.
Pennzoil 400 Final Stage
Larson led the field back to the green for the final stage. Shortly after the restart, Elliott got loose and spun around, making contact with Kurt Busch to bring out a caution. Hamlin would get to the lead on the following restart. Then Aric Almirola had a tire go down and hit the wall to bring out another yellow. This marked the end to yet another disappointing day for the #10 team.
Hamlin stayed out while several other contenders pitted behind him. He continued to lead after the restart until Larson, who pitted at the caution, got around him with about 60 laps to go. He never looked back from there. Keselowski was the only car who seemingly had the goods to challenge Larson for the win and he was a distant second. Larson got his first win driving for Hendrick Motorsports and his career first win on a 1.5-mile track.
Final Pennzoil 400 Thoughts
The NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 had great battles from start to finish all around the track. You know it’s a good race when the TV announcers mention having more lead changes in a race than last year. The action was fast and furious throughout too. Drivers showed no hesitation even in the early going. Hopefully, this trend of great racing carries over to a Phoenix Raceway track that hasn’t really had much of it in recent memory.