Kyle Larson got the best of rookie Chase Elliott on the day’s final restart Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, leading the last ten laps to record his first career Sprint Cup victory. Larson was ready to pounce when the green flag flew for the final time while Elliott briefly spun his tires, opening the door for Larson to drive his Number-42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet straight into Gatorade Victory Lane. The winning margin over Elliott was one-point-four seconds. Brad Keselowski, the only Michigan driver in the forty-car field, finished third. But his Number-2 Team Penske Ford failed post-race inspection, with any penalties likely to be announced at mid-week. Rookie Ryan Blaney grabbed fourth place with Kevin Harvick completing the top five. Pole sitter Joey Logano led twenty-four laps and finished tenth in his bid for a season sweep on the two-mile Irish Hills oval after winning in June … Larson led a race-high forty-one laps in helping to give Chevrolet a one-two sweep. Elliott drove his Number-88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to second-place finishes in both Sprint Cup Series events at M-I-S in 2016. Larson’s first Cup Series win comes in his ninety-ninth start and gives team owner Chip Ganassi just his second Michigan victory. The first one came fifteen years ago with Sterling Marlin behind the wheel … Larson’s victory capped an historic weekend for NASCAR during which first-time winners celebrated in each of the sanctioning body’s three national series: Brett Moffitt in the Camping World Truck Series, Michael McDowell (X-FINITY) and then Larson on Sunday in Michigan.
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Cole Pearn, Sprint Cup Series crew chief on Martin Truex Jr.’s Number 78 Furniture Row Racing team, has been suspended for one race and fined fifty thousand dollars for an unspecified pre-race inspection violation last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team has been docked fifteen championship owner and driver points. Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, said in a statement that the team will appeal Wednesday’s penalties. Pearn’s one-race suspension and his fine will be deferred until the conclusion of the appeal process.
Randall Burnett, Sprint Cup Series crew chief on A-J Allmendinger’s Number-47 JTG Daugherty Racing team, was fined fifteen thousand dollars for a pre-qualifying inspection violation. The team has been docked ten championship owner and driver points … Similar penalties were also assessed to crew chiefs for the teams of Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell … A total of eighteen teams across all three of NASCAR’s top national series were assessed penalties or given written warnings for rule violations last weekend in Atlanta.
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