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Larson wins OT Xfinity battle for first BMS win

Kevin Mays, [email protected] • Aug 17, 2018 at 11:30 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — 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 is 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 Bristol.

NOT A NORMAL NIGHT

The win came after Busch, who has ruled Bristol throughout his career, 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 had 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 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race) 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.”

OTHER KYLE DOMINATES EARLY

Busch entered the night having won 21 races at Bristol, including nine Xfinity events, and he was once again dominating Friday. He was enjoying 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 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 around the final two turns.

Larson held off Bell, Busch’s teammate, and claimed his first win on the 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. “I’m just really excited and can’t wait for tomorrow.”

SATURDAY NIGHT RACE

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

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