Kyle Larson Earns First Grandfather Clock at Martinsville

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Kyle Larson with that masterful burnout around the entire race track. Kyle, we know you’ve said it many times, this is not your favorite track. It’s been tough for you. That two tire call, though, how were you able to capitalize on that strategy call and change things and get the win here?“Just a huge congratulations to this whole No. 5 Chevy team and Hendrick Motorsports. I feel like Cliff (Daniels, crew chief) and everybody did a great job all day on pit road – making the right calls, having great pit stops, and then it all kind of worked out for me there at the end. We had a great car. That was the best my car had been I think, being able to get out front and manage. But, yeah, I never would have thought that I would win here at Martinsville. This place has been so tough on me. Just does not suit my driving style at all. I like to charge the center. I like to roll momentum, and that’s just not what this place is like. Thanks to Cliff Daniels and everybody for making me feel like I know what I’m doing sometimes around here. I just can’t believe it. I’m glad my family is here too, Katelyn and the kids. I’m sure they’re trying to get down here to the infield, but this is amazing. I honestly have never thought I would win here so I don’t have a spot picked out either for the clock, so I’ll have to make some space for sure.” Such a storied racetrack. It’s been in the series since NASCAR began, and it means a lot to Hendrick Motorsports. You’ve heard about the clock. All of those things considered, what does this mean to Kyle Larson?“Yeah, it means a lot to me. But I think more importantly, it means a lot to the whole Hendrick family and Hendrick Motorsports family. You know, everybody knows what happened here so long ago. That’s on everybody’s minds every time they come to Martinsville, so wish Rick (Hendrick) and Linda (Hendrick) were here, but we’ve got Jeff Gordon here. I’m sure Rick is probably on hold with Jeff Andrews or somebody waiting to talk to me. Gosh, again, thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. You guys are the best and make me — I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that I won at Martinsville.” TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-20 RESULTS: POS.  DRIVER1st      Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL18th      Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Tree Top Camaro ZL110th    Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL111th    Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL112th    Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL113th    Ross Chastain, No. 1 Unishippers Camaro ZL117th    Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1
 TOP-FIVE UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: POS.  DRIVER1st      Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)         2nd      Joey Logano (Ford)3rd      Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota)4th      Denny Hamlin (Toyota)5th      Chase Briscoe (Ford) The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season continues at Talladega Superspeedway with the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES: Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL1Finished: 12th “What a battle today at Martinsville Speedway. Everyone on the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevy team worked hard all day, and a 12th-place finish is pretty good considering how loose our Chevy was throughout the race and some of the strategy that played out. We were trapped a lap down for a while, but this team never gave up. Our Chevy was really loose in traffic with the nose down. It was pretty bad. I could set them up, but I couldn’t get the throttle down. It was like that all day. I thought we were going to end up with a top-10 finish, but I got too loose. I tried to get the No. 23 on the outside with about four or five laps to go. It was the only shot I had, and I did everything I could but it wasn’t enough. A couple of other cars snuck on our inside and we lost the top-10. All-in-all, a good day for this RCR team. We’ll keep battling.”

Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1Finished: 10th This is a tough race track. On a braking race track, how did the leg hold up today? “Yeah, it was pretty good, honestly. It was about what I expected, so that’s a good thing. It was warm. I’ve been sitting on the couch for six weeks, so I think that probably hurt me more than anything. But our NAPA Chevy, we struggled every run but the last one. We finally got it going there at the end and I was able to make some passes and do things that I didn’t really think I’d be capable of doing, or at least of us fixing it to that degree here at the race track. So I was pleasantly surprised by that. Got us a top-10 out of our first day back, so that’s definitely something to not be too bummed about.”
Certainly a nice battle by your team to get your car to the top-10 today. What is the one thing you’ve missed the most about being at the race track over the past six weeks? “The people, really. From my peers, to my teammates – that competitive nature of being here and wanting to be better. Really nice to be back and appreciate the warm welcome this weekend by everybody, so I appreciate that. It definitely didn’t go unnoticed. 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Tree Top Camaro ZL1Finished: 8th“It was kind of a crazy day. I felt like we were slowly making gains on our Chevy. We got better and better, and then we caught that caution. We had pitted and we had to take the wave around, and we ended up at the very back. But Mike Kelley (crew chief) and all the guys did a great job. Our war room back at the shop said we should stay out there. They felt like if we stayed out, our lap times would come back around and we’d be able to hang on. Really nice that it went green there. Our No. 47 Kroger / Tree Top Camaro was just a little tight in the center all day. We made it a little bit better. It felt like we were definitely the best we’ve been here in a long time, so we’re really happy with our day.”  
Stage One·       Daniel Suarez led the NASCAR Cup Series to the green flag at Martinsville Speedway from a front-row starting spot; the third top-10 start of the 2023 season for the No. 99 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1 team. 
·       Suarez ran in the top-five for the duration of the caution-free Stage One, ultimately leading Chevrolet in the fourth-position at the conclusion of the stage. 
·       Three Chevrolet drivers collected stage points in Stage One. Joining Suarez in the Stage One top-10 included Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson and William Byron in the ninth and 10th-positions, respectively. 
·       Alex Bowman drove his No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 from the 23rd starting position to 11th at the end of the stage. The biggest mover in Stage One, Bowman consistently clocked-in lap times that were a couple tenths quicker than then race leader Ryan Preece. 
Stage Two·       The first round of pit stops got underway during the Stage One break. The No. 99 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1 pit crew executed a stop that got Suarez off pit road in the second-position, giving the team a front-row starting spot for the start of Stage Two. 
·       A spin off Turn Two brought out the race’s first caution on lap 132. After racing to stay on the lead-lap, the No. 1 Unishippers Camaro ZL1’s Crew Chief, Phil Surgen, elected to keep Chastain out for track position. 
·       Restarting from the front-row, Chastain went on to lead 31 laps, ultimately ending Stage Two in the sixth-position. 
·       Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson drove to back-to-back top-10 stage finishes, taking the green-white checkered flag in the eighth and 10th-positions, respectively. 

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