Kyle Larson completed one of the more dominant NASCAR Cup seasons in recent history by winning the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday.
Larson, driving a Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, held off Martin Truex Jr. by half a second to win his first Cup championship. The other Championship 4 contenders, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, finished third and fifth, respectively, on Sunday to finish third and fourth in the final championship standings. Ryan Blaney, who was not racing for the championship, finished fourth in Sunday’s race.
For Larson, the win completed a comeback from the depths of a 202o season that had Larson missing the final after losing his ride and sponsorship. Larson won 10 races this season. Truex and Alex Bowman were a distant second in wins with four.
“To win a championship is crazy,” Larson said. “I’ve got to say first off thank you so much to Rick Hendrick, Hendrickcars.com, Jeff Gordon, NASCAR, every single one of my supporters in the stands, watching at home, my family. I’ve got so many of my friends and family here. My parents, my sister, my wife and kids.
“There were so many points in this race where I did not think we were going to win. Without my pit crew on that last stop, we would not be standing right here. They are the true winners of this race. They are true champions. I’m just blessed to be a part of this group. Every single man or person, man and woman at Hendrick Motorsports, this win is for all of us, and every one of you.
“This is unbelievable. I’m speechless.”
Here’s what it looked like at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday.
Kyle Larson smiles during pre-race festivities.
Kyle Larson, right, and Chase Elliott, left, lead the pack at Phoenix.
Defending Cup champion Chase Elliott leads Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson during Sunday’s race.
Kyle Larson praised his pit crew after Sunday’s win.
Denny Hamlin’s crew gets to work during the Cup finale.
Kyle Larson has Martin Truex Jr. in the rear view mirror in the waning moments of the Cup championship race at Phoenx.
Martin Truex Jr., left, races fellow Championship 4 contender Denny Hamlin, right, at Phoenix.
Denny Hamlin, left, and Chase Elliott go wheel to wheel.
Martin Truex Jr. (19) keeps ahead of the traffic on Sunday.
Kyle Larson crosses the finish line at Phoenix on his way to the Cup championship.
Kyle Larson gives the fans a photo op in Phoenix.
Kyle Larson’s crew chief Cliff Daniels joins in the celebration.
Kyle Larson hoists the hardware at Phoenix after winning the 2021 NASCAR Cup championship.
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