NASCAR Cup Series

Larson and Elliott Find Las Vegas Luck

LAS VEGAS — While Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was dominated by front row starters Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski, two of NASCAR’s brightest stars finished in the top five.

Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott finished second and third respectively and cited luck as the reason for their top-five results. Keselowski suffered a power issue while leading with less than three laps remaining, and both young guns were able to take advantage of it.

Larson trailed Truex to the checkered flag in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, and when Joey Logano and Kyle Busch made contact in the final corner, Elliott snuck underneath the two to come away with third place.

“Awesome day for our Target team,” Larson said. “Second in the first stage, third in the second stage, and finished second in the race. … Hopefully, we’ll keep building off what we have, and keep contending for wins and it’ll come.

“We had a bad restart after the second stage and lost a lot of track position, but was able to get a good restart on the last one. I think Brad was blowing up [in the closing laps], so we got lucky there … back-to-back seconds. We’d like to have back-to-back wins, but this is pretty awesome.

Elliott, who started 12th, was a top-five contender all day. His Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 didn’t quite have the speed Truex or Keselowski had but felt satisfied with the third-place finish.

“We had a really good car,” Elliott told POPULAR SPEED. “We just had a bad restart there at the end and got behind. But we got lucky to end up where we did.”

Were they lucky because the race was in Las Vegas? Maybe. Regardless, Larson and Elliott are flying high as they sit second and third in the points standings, respectively, after three races.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

By John Haverlin

John Haverlin is currently studying Communication at Arizona State University. He has been a reporter at Phoenix International Raceway for three years and has written news stories for the track's official site. Born and raised in Long Island, N.Y., Haverlin has lived in Arizona the past three years.