Kyle Larson victorious in Vegas and locked into Championship race

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After almost spinning out in Stage Two, Kyle Larson and the #5 Hendrick Cars team bounce back and lock themselves into the Championship race at Phoenix.

Kyle Larson has had an amazing week. He was crowned champion in the High Limits Sprint Car Series on Wednesday. Friday, he passed his Indy 500 Rookie orientation test. Sunday, Larson has locked himself into the championship race at Phoenix with a win at Las Vegas. Larson, who was the 2021 Cup Series championship, is now set on a second title. Let’s look at the day the #5 Team had at Las Vegas.

Larson’s weekend in Vegas:

Starting in qualifying, Larson qualified second to Christopher Bell. Larson and Bell would duel throughout the first stage for the lead, passing each other five times just for the first position. Larson would take the victory and the points that came with it.

The second stage is where things got exciting for the #5 Team. On lap 145, Larson coming out of turn two, nearly spun out and wrecked his car. But in a fantastic display of his talent, Larson guided the car out of the slide and maintained his position in second. When the caution came out due to his teammate, Alex Bowman’s wreck, Larson’s pit crew gave him fresh tires to go out and win the second stage.

Larson’s dominant day would roll right along. Another great pitstop by the #5 Team’s pit crew gave Larson the lead again. Bell and the #20 Team would attempt to charge back and get the lead from Larson, but they were too late. Larson beat Bell by a margin of victory of .082 seconds.

The Next Three Races:

Just because the #5 Team is locked into the Phoenix race, do not doubt their speed in the next three races. They are the defending race winners at both Miami and Martinsville, so expect them to want to hold on to those win streaks. But the three weeks to prepare before the team heads to Phoenix is crucial. The team has plenty of time to plan and prepare their setup, run it in the simulator, and make small changes to absolutely dial it in.

Larson finished fourth in the spring race at Phoenix, but his teammate William Byron won that race. Larson has a sole victory at the Phoenix Raceway, the 2021 Season finale in which he won his first title. He has eleven top-tens and seven top-fives at the track. With time for preparation and Larson’s immense talent, it is hard not to just hand the #5 team the championship trophy to them right now.

Kyle Larson and the #5 Team will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 4Ever 400. The racing will begin at 2:30 PM ET on NBC.