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NASCAR Championship race live results: Kyle Larson wins 2021 title

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 11/8/2021 Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer

NASCAR’s Cup Series Championship is today at Phoenix Raceway. The race is at 3 p.m. on NBC.

The race 312 miles (312) laps with stages ending on laps 75, 190 and 312.

Follow along here for lap-by-lap updates. Refresh this page for the latest updates and follow NASCAR reporter Alex Andrejev on Twitter at @AndrejevAlex.

NASCAR 2021 championship winner

Kyle Larson is the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion after winning Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway.

FINISHNAMECAR NO.TIME BEHIND
1Kyle Larson (P)5
2Martin Truex Jr. (P)190.398
3Denny Hamlin (P)111.193
4Ryan Blaney123.304
5Chase Elliott (P)93.925
6Aric Almirola105.452
7Kyle Busch187.572
8Kevin Harvick47.668
9Christopher Bell208.238
10Brad Keselowski210.02
11Joey Logano2210.193
12Matt DiBenedetto2110.33
13Cole Custer4110.79
14Ross Chastain4211.763
15Austin Dillon313.406
16Kurt Busch113.687
17William Byron2414.269
18Alex Bowman4815.717
19Tyler Reddick816.2
20* Ryan Preece3717.481
21Daniel Suarez9917.839
22Erik Jones4318.332
23Ryan Newman619.948
24Michael McDowell3420.272
25Chris Buescher17-1
26Justin Haley(i)77-2
27BJ McLeod(i)78-3
28Cody Ware(i)51-6
29Joey Gase(i)53-9
30Josh Bilicki(i)52-9
31Garrett Smithley(i)15-11
32Corey LaJoie7-31
33* David Starr(i)13-39
34Anthony Alfredo #38-70
35Chase Briscoe #14-159
36Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47-172
37Quin Houff0-190
38* Timmy Hill(i)66-255
39Bubba Wallace23-307

# denotes rookie

(i) denotes not eligible for points

* denotes required to qualify on time

Race updates

Final stage

6:34 p.m., Lap 285: Kyle Larson gains three spots and is running first after the pit. He’s followed by Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott.

6:30 p.m., Lap 282: There’s a caution with 30 laps to go with Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson still running 1-2-3-4. Debris on the track from David Starr brings out the yellow.

6:24 p.m., Lap 270: With 42 laps to go, it’s Martin Truex Jr. and then Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Hamlin is running 0.8 seconds back and looking to lead his first laps of the day.

6:19 p.m., Lap 258: After the caution and with 55 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr. leads followed by Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson.

6:09 p.m., Lap 248: Martin Truex Jr. was the first of the Championship 4 drivers to pit, but a caution quickly came out after Anthony Alfredo wrecked. Truex was on pit road. A pit stop for Kyle Larson was called off. “Just too tight middle. Too loose off,” Larson said after Denny Hamlin passed him for second.

6:06 p.m., Lap 242: The Championship 4 drivers — Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. — are all running up front with 70 laps to go, in that order.

5:46 p.m., Lap 200: The final stage of the race is underway with Kyle Larson jumping off to a strong restart, followed by Chase Elliott. There’s more than a second gap between Hamlin and Elliott. One the short run, it’s a battle between Hendrick teammates up front.

Stage 2

5:37 p.m., Lap 190: Kyle Larson wins the second stage, followed by Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Hamlin notices the damage to Larson’s right rear, calling it a “parachute.” Larson’s rear quarter panel is pushed out, which could make him difficult to pass.

5:31 p.m., Lap 179: Denny Hamlin has gotten a pump-up speech from his crew chief Chris Gabehart and is told he has the best car. Kyle Larson is still the leader, followed by Chase Elliott, Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Hamlin says that his car is a little tight in Turns 1 and 2 as the stage winds down.


Video: Highlights: Larson wins at Phoenix, Cup title (NBC Sports)

Replay Video

5:24 p.m., Lap 165: Kyle Larson takes the lead after the restart, easily getting by Kurt Busch on older tires. Chase Elliott follows Larson, and the two have slight contact, but Elliott is told his nose is OK. Denny Hamlin has cracked the top three and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. follows in fourth.

5:18 p.m., Lap 156: The yellow flag is back out, this time for Chase Briscoe hitting the outside wall hard after potential tire damage. The leaders pit under caution and Kyle Larson this time picks up a spot to restart in the lead. Chase Elliott is second off of playoff drivers.

5:13 p.m., Lap 151: Denny Hamlin is the only playoff driver out of the top five. He’s in eighth place while Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. battle in the top three. Kevin Harvick is in fourth.

5:06 p.m., Laps 142-144: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hits the wall with a flat tire to bring out the next caution. The leaders stay out under this caution with Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson in first and second. Denny Hamlin said that his car fires off OK, but the team needs to stop losing spots on pit road. Stenhouse is out of his car. Chase Elliott restarts on the outside lane with Kevin Harvick on the inside again, but Harvick falls to fourth, as Larson runs to second and Martin Truex Jr. moves to third.

4:59 p.m., Lap 132: Chase Elliott moves to the front of the pack off a pit stop for the second time in a row after the caution. Martin Truex Jr. drops three spots with a slow stop, as does Denny Hamlin, who drops to ninth. Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Truex and William Byron are in the top five.

4:55 p.m., Lap 129: The caution is out for Quin Houff, who exits his car. This will be the last race for his Star Com team in Cup full-time, with no plans for a part-time entry announced.

4:53 p.m., Lap 124: Martin Truex Jr. goes low around Chase Elliott, but Elliott drops to his inside and tries to get it back. He can’t clear Truex and falls back to second, as Truex puts a second between him and Elliott.

4:47 p.m., Lap 113: Martin Truex Jr. has cut Chase Elliott’s lead to 0.2 seconds and he’s gaining pace. Truex is running up on Elliott as they pass lapped cars. Kevin Harvick is in third, after passing Kyle Larson a few laps ago.

4:40 p.m., Lap 98-104: Kevin Harvick is hanging with the playoff drivers. He’s in fourth, passing Denny Hamlin. Further back in the pack, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola are in the top 10. Elliott has led the most laps of the race. He’s led 40 laps compared to Truex with the second-most of playoff drivers at 28. Ryan Blaney led 33 laps.

4:32 p.m., Lap 82-87: Chase Elliott stays in the lead after the restart after taking the outside lane. Martin Truex Jr. holds second place as Kyle Larson cuts between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. For the first time in the race, the Championship 4 drivers are running first through fourth. The order is Elliott, Truex, Larson and Hamlin.

Stage 1

4:28 p.m., Lap 78: The Championship 4 drivers pit and Chase Elliott gains two spots on pit road, coming out first, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson, who reported multiple balance tweaks at the green-and-white checkered flag.

4:24 p.m., Lap 75: Martin Truex Jr. wins the first stage at Phoenix. Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson are in the top five. William Byron, Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto are in the top 10.

4:19 p.m., Lap 69: Denny Hamlin’s got a strong long run car. He’s moved up to fourth by Kyle Larson, and says that his car is “a little bit free.” He hasn’t been on the radio much.

4:09 p.m., Lap 51: Martin Truex Jr. works by Chase Elliott, who’s racing the outside lane, as Kevin Harvick shades to the inside of Ryan Blaney, battles for the lead, but relinquishes it to Blaney and then Truex. Martin Truex Jr. is the new race leader. Denny Hamlin says he’s still too free in sixth, and is so far the only driver who hasn’t led.

4:05 p.m., Lap 39: Kevin Harvick has moved up to second place, passing both Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Ryan Blaney continues to lead. Martin Truex Jr. is in fifth, and Denny Hamlin is meticulously working his way through the field. He’s up to sixth.

3:59 p.m., Lap 24: Ryan Blaney holds the lead after the restart. The Chevrolets of Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott drop low to move up to P2-P3. Elliott wiggles, but saves it, narrowly missing contact with Larson’s left rear. Denny Hamlin is hovering in 11th, while Martin Truex Jr. is up to fifth.

3:56 p.m., Lap 19: Ryan Blaney takes the outside lane with Brad Keselowski on the inside lane for the restart. Ross Chastain and Austin Dillon follow. Kyle Larson lines up behind Dillon on the inside.

3:49 p.m., Laps 12-17: Chase Elliott restarts on the outside with Ryan Blaney to his inside and the caution is immediately back out for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Corey LaJoie spinning. LaJoie hits the outside wall. Kyle Larson’s team thinks this will be a break for them, as other leaders pit under caution, and sure enough, Larson is back up to fifth for the restart.

3:46 p.m., Lap 8: Kyle Larson pits from the top five under caution, which is out for Bubba Wallace, whose car is being towed away with significant rear damage after contact with Corey LaJoie’s car. Larson will restart 34th. Larson is told there’s nothing wrong with the car, bu this is an interesting pit strategy. The team seems to think it will work. Crew chief Cliff Daniels says he expects to win the stage.

3:42 p.m., Lap 3: Chase Elliott is the early race leader, moving around Larson after the opening lap. Denny Hamlin, who started sixth, is up to fourth, but William Byron is racing him hard for the position...and Byron will get it. Hamlin drops to fifth.

Pre-race:

3:34 p.m.: Driver introductions are complete in front of a loud crowd packed into the grandstands. Kristin Chenoweth sings the national anthem live and drivers have climbed into their cars. Engines FIRED. No. 5 crew chief Cliff Daniels radios a thanks to the fans tuning in and notes that “The stands are absolutely packed.” His driver, Kyle Larson, is starting up front. He thanks team owner Rick Hendrick and tells him he’s gonna try to get him a championship today. Car Nos. 52 (Josh Bilicki) and 66 (Timmy Hill) will drop to the rear for unapproved adjustments.

Driver introductions will start at 12:45 p.m. local time with the green flag scheduled to wave at 1:34 p.m. The weather in Avondale is sunny and 81 degrees with some clouds. Phoenix Raceway has announced a sold out crowd at the one-mile track, which sits 30 minutes west of Phoenix.

Larson on the pole for Championship 4

Kyle Larson earned the pole position during NASCAR Cup qualifying with a speed of 137.847 mph. Chase Elliott will also start in the front row in second. Denny Hamlin will start fifth and Martin Truex Jr. will start 12th. those are the Championship 4 drivers. William Byron and Ryan Blaney will start in the second row.

Car chiefs for the teams of Larson, Hamlin and Truex Jr. will be ejected today for twice failing pre-race technical inspection before qualifying yesterday. Because they passed on the third time through inspection, they’ll be able to start from their qualifying spot. Elliott’s car passed on the first time through.

How will today’s race determine a NASCAR champion?

The first championship driver (Larson, Elliott, Hamlin, Truex Jr.) to cross the finish line wins the title, even if another non-championship driver wins the race.

SCHEDULE: WATCH NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP CUP RACE

  • Race: NASCAR Cup Series Championship
  • Distance: 312 miles (312 laps) with stages ending on laps 75, 190 and 312
  • Where: Phoenix Raceway
  • When:Sunday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. EST
  • TV: NBC
  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Purse: $10,053,801
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