RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kyle Larson and his Chip Ganassi Racing team snatched NASCAR’s last victory before the start of the playoffs Saturday night at Richmond.
Martin Truex Jr. had the race easily in hand until Derrike Cope slowed with under four laps remaining. Larson was second at the time, itching for fresh tires and a shot at the win in overtime.
He took his Chevrolet to pit road, his Ganassi team got him out as the leader, and he held for his fourth victory of the season. That ties Truex for most in the Cup series this season.
Truex, the regular-season champion, wrecked in overtime while racing for position. The entire sequence cost him what seemed to easily be his fifth win of the season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., meanwhile, was officially eliminated from the playoffs. He’s retiring at the end of the season.