Kyle Larson Takes Advantage of Mistakes and Strategy to Get NASCAR Win at Martinsville [VIDEO]

Sunday (4/16) was the NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway. Kyle Larson took advantage of some pit road mistakes by other drivers and strategy of his team to get the win.

Ryan Preece had the fastest car at the track. It was obvious as he qualified on the pole and led the first 135 laps of the race. That gave him the win in stage one of the race (which ended at lap 80) and the most laps led in the race. However, he made a mistake during a pit stop following the first caution of the race for an on-track incident. Ryan was caught speeding on pit road. That sent him to the back of the field for the re-start. It was a mistake he was not able to recover from to challenge for the win.

There were nine drivers that exchanged the lead of the race 10 times. Kevin Harvick was able to win stage two of the race. Kyle Larson would not take the lead until late in the third and final stage of the race.

There were five caution periods including the end of the first two stages of the race. The final caution flag waived with just 56 laps remaining in the 400-lap race. There were several strategies played out during this yellow flag period. Some cars stayed on the track. Some cars, including Kyle Larson, took only two tires. Most cars took four tires.

Joey Logano took over the lead of the race by being one of the cars that did not stop. Kyle Larson was first off pit road by taking only two tires. Kyle lined up behind just the few cars that did not pit as the first car with two tires. Joey was able to hold the lead after the re-start until lap 370. That is when Kyle was able to use the extra grip and speed in those two new tires to take the lead from Joey.

Kyle was able to lead the final 30 laps of the race (his only laps led all day). He claimed his first win on a track he is admittedly not fond of and never thought he would win on. It is his second win of the 2023 season and his 21st career win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Joey Logano was able to hold on to take home a runner-up finish. Martin Truex Jr. finished in third-place. See the complete NOCO 400 race results here.

Leaving Martinsville Speedway Christopher Bell remains the point leader. Ross Chastain holds station in second-place. Kevin Harvick also keeps his spot in third. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series Point Standings here.

I’ll be honest. I miss the old style of racing when NASCAR went short trackin’. There’s very little door-to-door and bumper banging happening anymore. It just all seems too polite for a short track race. That’s just my opinion though.

The drivers and teams go from short trackin’ to high-speed superspeedway racing! Sunday, April 23rd is the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens