Blaney snatches lead from Larson to win Atlanta NASCAR Cup race

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Larson took each stage victories and led a race-high 269 of 325 laps however a 56-lap run on the identical set of tyres took them past their limits, opening the door to the quickly chasing Blaney.

With eight laps remaining and as Larson and Blaney each approached the lapped automobile of Joey Logano, Blaney dove to the within in Turns 3 and 4 after which pulled up and in entrance of Larson for the lead.

Blaney’s benefit solely grew after that and he finally held off Larson for his first NASCAR Cup victory of the 2021 season.

Larson had beforehand taken the lead away from Blaney on lap 237 because the Penske driver took benefit of a warning – attributable to Chase Elliott’s blown engine firstly of the ultimate stage – to leap forward of Larson out of the pitlane as the sector got here in to cease.

With 25 laps to go, Larson’s lead over Blaney remained steady at about 2.3 seconds, however together with his tyres starting to expire of life, Blaney was introduced into play.

The Penske driver then charged as much as the again of Larson’s Hendrick-run Chevrolet, taking the lead after which crossed the road with a two-second result in safe his first ever Atlanta victory – and his fifth in his Cup Collection profession.

Race winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang BodyArmor

Race winner Ryan Blaney, Crew Penske, Ford Mustang BodyArmor

Picture by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Larson stored second place, having dominated each the primary and second levels – Blaney 9 seconds behind the #5 automobile on the second green-and-white flag, whereas Kyle Busch was on the receiving finish of Larson’s tempo after the primary stage.

Alex Bowman made it two Hendrick vehicles within the prime three, having began 14th however factoring among the many front-runners all race lengthy – operating in second in direction of the tip of the second stage earlier than being cleared by Blaney.

Poleman Denny Hamlin collected fourth place, and had led the opening a part of the race earlier than a contest warning – referred to as for groups to examine tyre put on – tempted the lead runners to pit, which shuffled the Joe Gibbs Racing driver behind Larson.

Hamlin’s JGR Toyota stablemate Busch was fifth after ending second within the first stage, after being compelled to recuperate from a penalty after rushing within the pitlane and being dropped to the again of the sector.

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon was sixth forward of Chris Buescher, with William Byron eighth forward of Martin Truex Jr and Kevin Harvick – who rallied from a flat tyre early within the race, which put him a lap down, to complete within the top-10.

Elliott had failed the pre-race inspection and was compelled to start out from the again having certified fifth, however produced a robust restoration to issue throughout the prime 10 till his engine failure put him out of the race.

Hamlin retained the lead of the present Cup Collection standings, extending his benefit on factors as second-placed Brad Keselowski endured a troublesome race to complete twenty eighth.

 

 

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