Larson Dominates, Ryan Blaney Takes Win at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Larson Dominates, Ryan Blaney Takes Win at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Ryan Blaney claims the win at Atlanta Motor Speedway after Kyle Larson dominated the race.

The writing was on the wall for Kyle Larson to claim his second win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro led a race high 269 laps. He also won both stages for the fourth time in his career. However, having the dominant car Sunday did not secure the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race win. With eight laps to go, Ryan Blaney made his moved. Larson’s tires had faded away during the closing laps of the race, while Blaney’s car seemed to come alive. Blaney led only 25 laps Sunday, claiming the checkered flag 2.083 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson.

Quotes from the winner, and second place driver!

Blaney told Fox Sports after the win, “We had a great long-run car all day. It took us a little bit to get going. I was pretty free all day. We made a really good change to tighten me up where I needed it, and it looked like Kyle was getting loose. I’m happy it worked in our favor that there was a couple long runs at the end that let us get there and that he got stood up behind some lapped traffic.”

On the contrary, Larson told Fox Sports, “I think (Blaney) just got a lot better there that last stage and it kind of changed up my flow of the race a little bit. I could get out to such a big lead and I could take care of my stuff and run the bottom, where it was maybe slower but I could take care of my tires. He was fast there and I just wanted to maintain that gap that I had, so I had to run on the faster part of the race track and just used my stuff up. … I don’t know if we got that much worse or if he just got way better. Like I said, it just changed the flow of my race.”

Top Ten Finishers

Larson’s teammate Alex Bowman brought his No. 48 car home in third, while Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished fourth and fifth. Hamlin was involved in the only wreck of the day, as he gave a bump to Kurt Busch at the start of the second stage. An accordion effect triggered the incident, as Hamlin’s nudge to Busch put him in the wall, ending the day for Busch. Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher finished in sixth and seventh, while William Byron came home in eighth. Yesterday’s Xfinity Series runner up and former Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. finished in ninth, while Kevin Harvick rounded out the top ten in tenth.

What’s Next for the NASCAR Cup Series?

The next round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season will take place on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway next Sunday, March 28th. Fans can catch all the action at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Featured Image Credit: Associated Press

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