Larson wins Stage 1 at Homestead, Keselowski leads title contenders

Kyle Larson collected his seventh stage win of 2017 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Larson wins Stage 1 at Homestead, Keselowski leads title contenders
Start: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Larson dominated the 80-lap segment—leading 68 laps—and held a 9.771-second lead over Brad Keselowski at the line. Fellow Playoff drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., rounded out the top-five in the EcoBoost 400.

Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10 with only 13 cars remaining on the lead lap. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 20th, one lap down.

Truex cleared polesitter Hamlin on the first lap for the lead. Kyle Busch held onto third. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started at the rear of the field after an engine change moved up to 30th on the first lap.

Harvick moved up to sixth, Keselowski ran seventh before the first caution fell on Lap 4 when Joey Gase hit the wall in Turn 2. Keselowski pitted on Lap 6 with Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Logano, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Earnhardt.

Truex controlled the restart on Lap 10 followed by Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Stenhouse, Harvick, Blaney, Menard, Newman, Buescher, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Larson, Keselowski, Busch and Logano. Earnhardt restarted 29th and gained four positions on the restart.

Larson went low and passed Truex for the lead in Turn 2 on Lap 13. Keselowski made the same move on the next lap for second. Kurt Busch ran fourth but passed Truex out of Turn 4 for third. Truex held fourth followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Logano, McMurray, Kenseth, Johnson and Kyle Busch. Logano passed Hamlin for fifth on the next circuit.

After seven laps at the point, Larson extended his lead to 1.118-seconds over Keselowski. Kurt Busch, Truex, Logano, Hamlin, Harvick, McMurray, Elliott, Johnson, Bowyer and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 12. Earnhardt moved up to 20th.

Larson extended his advantage to five-seconds over Keselowski by Lap 30. Logano moved by Truex for fourth and Elliott moved by Harvick for seventh. Stenhouse and Buescher pitted on Lap 31. Menard came in for service on Lap 35.

Jimmie Johnson slapped the Turn 2 wall on Lap 37 and immediately came to the pits. Matt Kenseth, Truex and Harvick also pitted. Keselowski, Logano, Kyle Busch and Danica Patrick came on the next lap. Larson pitted from the lead on Lap 42 and retained the lead out of the pits followed by Keselowski, Truex, Kurt Busch, Harvick, Logano, Elliott, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse, Kenseth, McMurray, Johnson, Bowyer and Suarez.

Johnson reported an issue with his brakes, but continued to run in the top 15. Crew chief Chad Knaus told Johnson they would work on it during the stage break.

At Lap 50, Larson’s lead was back up to 3.6-seconds over Keselowski. Harvick passed Busch and moved by Truex for third on Lap 57 and Larson lapped Earnhardt (20th). Larson shot out to a seven-second lead over Keselowski with 20 laps to go in the stage. Harvick, Truex, Kurt Busch, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Logano, Hamlin and McMurray rounded out the top 10.

Johnson pitted on Lap 65 and dropped to 34th. Larson’s lead over Keselowski was eight-seconds and the remaining Playoff drivers—Harvick, Truex and Busch—were in tow. Chase Elliott passed Kurt Busch for sixth on Lap 69.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Larson’s lead was 9.4-seconds. Keselowski, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Truex, Elliott, Kurt Busch, Logano, Hamlin and Bowyer completed the top 10. Kyle Busch passed Truex on Lap 71. Kyle Busch moved by Harvick for third with three to go.

shares
comments
Brian France: "We like where we’re at and we like where we’re going"
Previous article

Brian France: "We like where we’re at and we like where we’re going"

Next article

Larson dominates Stage 2, Truex takes championship lead

Larson dominates Stage 2, Truex takes championship lead
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021