2022 Kyle Larson Pocono.jpg
Kyle Larson, who started Sunday’s 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway from the fourth position, gained a spot before the first caution waved on lap 6. On the ensuing restart at lap 12, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion made a three-wide maneuver in turn 1 to take over the top spot – a spot he would hold through the end of stage one at lap 30. The stage win marked Larson’s third of 2022.

Some teams elected to short-pit the stage, so Larson lined up behind those drivers after completing his four-tire stop during the stage break. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet restarted 11th on lap 34 and worked his way up to fourth before a round of green-flag pit stops began at lap 57. Crew chief Cliff Daniels called Larson to pit road four laps later with the Elk Grove, California, native returning to the 2.5-mile track in 22nd. Larson moved up the scoring pylon and was scored eighth when a caution waved on lap 82 prior to all drivers making their stops. Daniels again called Larson to pit road for four new tires and fuel, and the driver of the No. 5 entry returned to the track in eighth. The race restarted with eight laps to go in the stage and, although he fell to 14th on the restart, Larson battled back and was credited with an eighth-place result when the stage ended at lap 95.

The team elected to stay out during the stage break and the race restarted on lap 100 of 160. Larson dropped a few spots early in the run but was scored 10th when he stopped for service during green-flag conditions at lap 121. When the green-flag cycle ended 13 laps later, Larson was again scored 10th. A caution at lap 137 slowed the field but, on the ensuing restart at lap 142, Larson gained two positions when a pair of drivers ahead of him were involved in an accident to bring out the event’s final caution. The race restarted with 13 laps to go, and the 29-year-old driver gained a spot before crossing under the checkered flag in seventh.

A few hours later, Larson would be credited with a fifth-place finish when the first and second-place finishers were disqualified from the event following post-race technical inspection. As a result, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott was declared the race winner.

“I had one bad restart where I lost a bunch of positions and then you had to work so hard to get each position back. But I’m happy to get another stage win and playoff point today.”

With five races remaining until the playoffs commence, Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet team head to Indianapolis for road-course racing at The Brickyard. The 200-mile race takes place Sunday, July 31 at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on NBC.

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