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Larson takes 2nd All-Star race

Auto racing

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Larson was back in the NASCAR All-Star race, and got another $1 million by winning it again.

Larson held off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski during the final 10-lap shootout at Texas on Sunday night, after a slippery three-wide pass to get back in front and push Hendrick Motorsports to its second consecutive win, and 10th overall, in the annual non-points race with the seven-figure prize.

Defending All-Star winner and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott, who started the sixth and final segment out front, didn’t stay there long. Larson pushed his teammate, then got in front on the outside through the fourth turn. They were three-wide while Keselowski pulled ahead briefly at the line before Larson finally got ahead to stay for the last eight laps.

There were no points on the line, but Larson went to Victory Lane for the third weekend in a row.

Larson was with Chip Ganassi Racing when he won the 2019 All-Star race, but missed last year’s big event while serving a six-month suspension after using a racial slur during the livestream of a virtual race during the pandemic. That nearly cost him his career, but Hendrick gave him an opportunity this season to get back into the Cup Series.

Second in points with 10 races to go before the playoffs, Larson now only the eighth driver to be a two-time All-Star race winner.

Elliott finished third with Joey Logano fourth, ahead of Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman.

Hendrick drivers Elliott, Byron and Larson started the final segment 1-2-3. Elliott had moved from third to first during the 30-lap fifth segment that included a required four-tire stop and $100,000 prize for his crew that had the fastest stop.

Byron won the fourth segment, and had the lowest cumulative finish through the first four 15-lap segments. Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman finished in front for the first three segments.

Elsewhere:

n Pato O’Ward became IndyCar’s first repeat winner of the season by charging through the field Sunday on a final restart to steal the victory away from Josef Newgarden at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. Marcus Ericsson raced to his first IndyCar victory Saturday in the action-packed opener of the doubleheader.

n John Force raced to his second Funny Car victory of the year and record 153rd overall, beating teammate Robert Hight on Sunday in the NHRA New England Nationals.

n Kyle Busch stayed in front through two late restarts at Texas with pushes from series points leader Austin Cindric, the last going into a green-white overtime finish, to get his 99th career NASCAR Xfinity victory Saturday.

n John Hunter Nemechek won his second consecutive NASCAR truck race, leading the final 22 laps and finishing more than 3.3 seconds ahead of reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott on a steamy Saturday in Texas.

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