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Larson leads 202 laps, scores coveted BMS win

Kevin Mays • Aug 17, 2018 at 10:34 PM

BRISTOL — Kyle won at Bristol again.

But, this time it was not Bristol Motor Speedway dominator Kyle Busch.

Instead, Kyle Larson took his first career win at what he said was his favorite track.

Larson led a total of 202 laps and held off Justin Allgaier and Christopher Bell in overtime to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at BMS.

The win was the first victory for Larson at BMS.

NOT A NORMAL NIGHT

The win came after Busch, who has been a track dominator at Bristol, hit the outside wall and took an unusual early exit on lap 69.

“I wish Kyle Busch wouldn’t have had his troubles so I could have raced him,” said Larson, who has finished second three times to Busch in the Xfinity race at Bristol. “But, it still feels really, really cool to finally win a race here in Bristol. I’ve been close so many times. If we can get another one tomorrow (in the NASCAR Cup Series) it would be special, as well.

“It’s really very exciting. I’ve been so close, so many times. I thought Bell was going to steal this one from me a few times throughout that race.”

THE OTHER KYLE DOMINATES EARLY

Prior to the untimely early exit for Busch, the driver who has won 21 races at Bristol, including nine Xfinity events, was once again dominating the field. He enjoyed a 3.5 second lead on the rest of the field when his car went up the track and hit the wall.

Larson picked up the lead on lap 70 and held on for most of the night.

Bell led the race for 18 laps, while Elliott Sadler — running in what is likely his final Xfinity Series race at BMS — led the event for 12 laps.

DOWN TO THE FINISH

With two laps left in the race, Daniel Hemric went sideways on the backstretch and tagged the inside wall to bring out the final caution of the race and send it into an overtime finish.

With Larson leading Allgaier and Bell to the white flag, Allgaier challenged Larson for the lead coming out of turn two. But, he got loose, allowing Bell to move into second and challenge Larson for the lead around the final two turns.

Larson held off Bell, Busch’s teammate and claimed his first win on the concrete half mile.

“(Bell) and I have very similar driving styles and I knew he would be one that Kyle (Busch) and I would have to beat,” Larson said of the late-race challenge from Bell. “I’m just really excited and can’t wait for tomorrow.”

SATURDAY NIGHT RACE

The NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops, NRA Night Race at BMS is scheduled to start Saturday at 6:30.

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