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Alex Bowman fends off Kyle Larson to win Pennzoil 400

Sportsnaut
Mar 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) drives ahead of driver Alex Bowman (48) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) drives ahead of driver Alex Bowman (48) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Bowman beat defending Cup Series champion Kyle Larson in a tight two-lap shootout with a strong run off the final turn, winning the Pennzoil 400 Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On the race’s final pit stop — brought out by Erik Jones’ wreck with three laps left — Bowman and Larson decided to take just two tires, putting the Hendrick Motorsports teammates on the front row.

Larson elected the high spot with Bowman underneath. They ran side by side until Bowman kept his Chevrolet down low and claimed his seventh career Cup win at the checkers.

Ross Chastain, who led three times for a career-high 83 laps, came home third. Kyle Busch and William Byron rounded out the top five finishers in the 274-lap race.

Busch grabbed the lead after pit stops with 50 laps to go but took on four tires in the final stop and restarted fourth.

Christopher Bell started from the pole and led the first 33 laps but fell back in the top 10. He looped his Toyota shortly after the halfway point and came home 10th.

Ryan Blaney, who has been fast in all three Cup races thus far, wrecked with former Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski and finished 36th.

After winning his first career pole Saturday with a speed of 182.673 mph, Bell paced the first 33 circuits around the 1.5-mile track.

After starting shotgun on the field following a Saturday practice crash, Busch was involved in a spin behind Austin Dillon’s sliding No. 3. Busch also fought linkage problems on his shifter in the reserve car, brought out West for parts and unprepared to race.

Bowman and Denny Hamlin took turns at the front, but it was Bowman leading a three-Chevrolet brigade to win the first stage.

In the seventh caution, Keselowski spun by himself and was struck by Blaney, who received significant damage just after the 100-lap mark.

Chastain passed Larson and led Chase Elliott to the line to give his No. 1 team its first-ever stage-points win on Lap 165 to close out the second stage.

With most of the field pitting with 50 laps to go, Hamlin made a shifting mistake and brought out the 11th caution period — eventually turning over the lead to Busch.

–Field Level Media