Larson wins Stage 1 at Homestead, Keselowski leads title contenders
Kyle Larson collected his seventh stage win of 2017 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Larson dominated the 80-lap segment—leading 68 laps—and held a 9.771-second lead over Brad Keselowski at the line. Fellow Playoff drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., rounded out the top-five in the EcoBoost 400.
Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10 with only 13 cars remaining on the lead lap. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 20th, one lap down.
Truex cleared polesitter Hamlin on the first lap for the lead. Kyle Busch held onto third. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started at the rear of the field after an engine change moved up to 30th on the first lap.
Harvick moved up to sixth, Keselowski ran seventh before the first caution fell on Lap 4 when Joey Gase hit the wall in Turn 2. Keselowski pitted on Lap 6 with Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Logano, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Earnhardt.
Truex controlled the restart on Lap 10 followed by Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Stenhouse, Harvick, Blaney, Menard, Newman, Buescher, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Larson, Keselowski, Busch and Logano. Earnhardt restarted 29th and gained four positions on the restart.
Larson went low and passed Truex for the lead in Turn 2 on Lap 13. Keselowski made the same move on the next lap for second. Kurt Busch ran fourth but passed Truex out of Turn 4 for third. Truex held fourth followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Logano, McMurray, Kenseth, Johnson and Kyle Busch. Logano passed Hamlin for fifth on the next circuit.
After seven laps at the point, Larson extended his lead to 1.118-seconds over Keselowski. Kurt Busch, Truex, Logano, Hamlin, Harvick, McMurray, Elliott, Johnson, Bowyer and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 12. Earnhardt moved up to 20th.
Larson extended his advantage to five-seconds over Keselowski by Lap 30. Logano moved by Truex for fourth and Elliott moved by Harvick for seventh. Stenhouse and Buescher pitted on Lap 31. Menard came in for service on Lap 35.
Jimmie Johnson slapped the Turn 2 wall on Lap 37 and immediately came to the pits. Matt Kenseth, Truex and Harvick also pitted. Keselowski, Logano, Kyle Busch and Danica Patrick came on the next lap. Larson pitted from the lead on Lap 42 and retained the lead out of the pits followed by Keselowski, Truex, Kurt Busch, Harvick, Logano, Elliott, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Stenhouse, Kenseth, McMurray, Johnson, Bowyer and Suarez.
Johnson reported an issue with his brakes, but continued to run in the top 15. Crew chief Chad Knaus told Johnson they would work on it during the stage break.
At Lap 50, Larson’s lead was back up to 3.6-seconds over Keselowski. Harvick passed Busch and moved by Truex for third on Lap 57 and Larson lapped Earnhardt (20th). Larson shot out to a seven-second lead over Keselowski with 20 laps to go in the stage. Harvick, Truex, Kurt Busch, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Logano, Hamlin and McMurray rounded out the top 10.
Johnson pitted on Lap 65 and dropped to 34th. Larson’s lead over Keselowski was eight-seconds and the remaining Playoff drivers—Harvick, Truex and Busch—were in tow. Chase Elliott passed Kurt Busch for sixth on Lap 69.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Larson’s lead was 9.4-seconds. Keselowski, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Truex, Elliott, Kurt Busch, Logano, Hamlin and Bowyer completed the top 10. Kyle Busch passed Truex on Lap 71. Kyle Busch moved by Harvick for third with three to go.
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About this article
|Drivers||Kevin Harvick , Martin Truex Jr. , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch , Kyle Larson|
|Teams||Team Penske , Stewart-Haas Racing , Furniture Row Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Article type||Race report|