A Sunday dominated by Ford and Toyota drivers still couldn’t stop Kyle Larson in the NASCAR Cup Series NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.
Larson took the lead for the first time on lap 371 and drove away from Joey Logano to his second win of the season.
Larson is the second multi-time winner of the 2023 season. Teammate William Byron is the other multi-time winner this season.
Logano finished second after going a lap down in the first stage and running outside of the top 20 much of the race.
The defending Cup Series champion earned the free pass after the first stage. Then, he gained spots because of a lap 304 caution and staying out during the final, lap 344 caution.
Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also stayed out and finished fourth, sixth and eighth. Almirola, Hamlin and Stenhouse were eighth, ninth and 24th before the caution.
Martin Truex Jr. finished third and earned his first top-5 finish of the season. Truex earned the finish even after a speeding penalty sent him to the rear of the field on lap 134.
Bubba Wallace ran inside the top-10 before also having a speeding penalty on lap 134. A well-timed lap 304 caution and fresh tires for the final 46 laps boosted him to a ninth-place finish.
Chase Elliott finished 10th in his return to the NASCAR Cup Series.
TOP-10 FINISHERS: Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott.
Blaney started 29th and was one of the biggest movers of the race.
STAGE ONE TOP-10: Ryan Preece, Almirola, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Briscoe, Kevin Harvick, Wallace, Hamlin, Larson, William Byron
The first non-stage caution was in stage two when Harrison Burton spun in turn two on lap 134.
It was consequential as Ryan Preece, who won the pole and led the first 135 laps, had a speeding penalty on pit road and fell outside of the top 25.
Preece never recovered and even went a lap down at one point. He finished 15th.
Ross Chastain stayed out and took the lead on lap 136 after nearly falling a lap down in the first stage. He led 31 laps before losing the lead to Kevin Harvick, who on the second stage.
STAGE TWO TOP-10: Harvick, Briscoe, Hamlin, Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Ross Chastain, Todd Gilliland, Suarez, Almirola
Harvick led twice for 20 laps and had a fast car but lost hold of the strategy calls in the third stage. His teammate, Chase Briscoe, took control and 71 laps as the third stage started.
Briscoe lost the lead to Hamlin, who led 36 laps. While he regained control after a lap 304 caution for Anthony Alfredo losing a right-front wheel exiting turn four, he lost control again when J.J. Yeley slammed the wall entering turn three on lap 344.
At this point, Logano, Hamlin, Almirola and Stenhouse stayed out, while Larson and Suarez took two tires and Briscoe restarted behind them on four tires. Larson broke free, took the lead and earned his 21st career Cup Series win.
The 2021 Cup Series champion tied Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Benny Parsons and Jack Smith on the all-time wins list. Since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2021, Larson has 15 Cup Series wins.
Larson has the most playoff points earned so far this season. Currently, he has 12 playoff points earned and is in position to earn seven more points for being fourth in points.
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is the April 23 GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (3 p.m. ET; TV: FOX; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90).