The winner of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway needed help getting to Victory Lane.
Ryan Blaney took the lead from Kyle Larson with eight laps remaining on the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and then posted a 2,083-second victory. It was Blaney’s first victory in 2021 and the fifth of his Cup career. Blaney also became the sixth different winner in the first six races of the season.
Larson won the first two stages of the race and held a sizable lead at the end of Stage 3, only for his tires to wear out during a long green-flag run and slow down his car. That allowed Blaney to close the gap and finally walk away towards the checkered flag.
Below is more information on Blaney’s victory, plus full results from Sunday’s race.
Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Ryan Blaney made a late charge past Kyle Larson, who led 269 of the 325 laps of the race.
“God we had a great long-haul car all day,” Blaney he told Fox Sports after the race. “It took us a little while to get going. I was pretty free all day, so we made a really good change to tense up where I needed it, and it seemed like Kyle was loosening up.
“I’m happy it worked to our advantage that there were a couple of long races at the end. That got us there. And he slowed down behind some lap traffic.”
Blaney’s teammate on Team Penske, Joey Logano, was the “turn traffic” that made the biggest difference. Logano was running ahead of Larson and Blaney to stay on the lead lap when Blaney made the pass for the lead.
Larson didn’t like Logano getting in the way.
Atlanta NASCAR Results
Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson finished 1-2, followed by Alex Bowman in third, series points leader Denny Hamlin in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth.
“I think it improved a lot there in the last stage and changed my race pace a bit,” Larson. said of Blaney to Fox Sports after the race. “I could get to such a big lead and I could take care of my things and run around the bottom where I was maybe slower, but I could take care of my tires.
“He was fast there and I just wanted to keep that gap that he had, so I had to run on the fastest part of the track and use my things. And then he was much better than me there at the end of the race.”
Hamlin scored his fifth series-leading top-five finish of the season.
The Cup Series now turns its attention to next Sunday’s race at Bristol (3:30 pm ET; Fox, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The event will be the first race of the series on gravel since 1970.
NASCAR results in Atlanta
|9.||Martin Truex Jr.|
|12.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|17.||Daniel Suarez placeholder image|
|2. 3.||Chase briscoe|
|3. 4.||BJ McLeod|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.