Kyle Larson again wins at Las Vegas to keep Chevrolet undefeated on NASCAR season

Kyle Larson celebrates his Pennzoil 400 victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Larson celebrates his Pennzoil 400 victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kyle Larson won his second consecutive race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday to keep keep Chevrolet undefeated and give Hendrick Motorsports its second victory in the first three NASCAR Cup Series races of the season.

Larson won for the third time in his career at Las Vegas, where in 2021 he got his first win driving for Hendrick following a nearly yearlong suspension in 2020. Larson also won in the No. 5 Chevy at Las Vegas last October in the playoffs.

Larson held off Tyler Reddick for his 24th career Cup victory. In a Toyota for 23XI Racing, Reddick chased Larson for the final several laps but could never find enough room to make a move for the pass. Larson’s margin of victory was 0.441 seconds over Reddick.

“I knew Tyler was going to be the guy to beat from the first stage. He was really fast there,” Larson said. “Cool to get a win here at Vegas again. Back-to-back, swept all the stages again. Can’t ask for more than that.”

Reddick was extremely frustrated after finishing second and believed Larson as the leader controlled the race because of the rules of NASCAR’s new car.

“Kyle did a really good job there taking away pretty much every option I had there to close the gap,” Reddick said. “Second sucks, that is for sure. You have to run up front all day long, and when asked about what we need to do to get better, that’s the very thing, and we didn’t do it. We were pretty evenly matched, so I don’t know if there was anything that I really could’ve done to get around him.

“He would have had to make a big mistake or had some traffic kind of knock his wind around. It’s a solid effort for our team, that’s how we need to run, but I don’t like running second.”

Chevrolet also has wins this year by Larson teammate William Byron in the Daytona 500 and Daniel Suarez last week at Atlanta for Trackhouse Racing. Chevrolet has won eight of nine national series races to open the year.

Reigning NASCAR champion Ryan Blaney was third for Team Penske in a Ford, followed by Trackhouse driver Ross Chastain, Ty Gibbs in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and Las Vegas native Noah Gragson was sixth in his best finish since joining Stewart-Haas Racing.

Martin Truex Jr. for JGR was seventh, followed by teammate Denny Hamlin, Penske driver and pole-sitter Joey Logano and Byron. Suarez, last week’s winner, was 11th.

Larson swept all three stages and led 181 of the 267 laps. The win made Larson the Cup Series points leader with an eight-point cushion over Blaney.

Chris Buescher penalty to come

Chris Buescher and RFK Racing are facing penalties after a tire fell off Buescher’s Ford early in the race.

“We lost the nut and lost half the wheel. I think the tire stayed up under the fender,” Buescher said. “It looks like the nut came off and something in the suspension actually cut the wheel in half.

The penalty will be the suspension of two crew members from Buescher’s team for the next two races.

Pennzoil 400 finishing order

  • 1. Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 2. Tyler Reddick, No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota

  • 3. Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Team Penske Ford

  • 4. Ross Chastain, No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  • 5. Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  • 6. Noah Gragson, No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  • 7. Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  • 8. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  • 9. Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford

  • 10. William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 11. Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  • 12. Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 13. Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford

  • 14. Erik Jones, No. 43 Legacy Motor Club Toyota

  • 15. Carson Hocevar, No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 16. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  • 17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

  • 18. Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 19. Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  • 20. Josh Berry, No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  • 21. Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  • 22. John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Legacy Motor Club Toyota

  • 23. Ryan Preece, No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  • 24. Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford

  • 25. Michael McDowell, No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford

  • 26. Kyle Busch, No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  • 27. Justin Haley, No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

  • 28. Derek Kraus, No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  • 29. Austin Cindric, No. 2 Team Penske Ford

  • 30. Harrison Burton, No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford

  • 31. Kaz Grala, No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

  • 32. Corey Lajoie, No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 33. Christopher Bell, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  • 34. JJ Yeley, No. 44 NY Racing Team Chevrolet

  • 35. Bubba Wallace, No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota

  • 36. Zane Smith, No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  • 37. Chris Buescher, No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kyle Larson wins Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway