Alex Bowman takes Pocono victory, stops Kyle Larson’s streak

Jun 20, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) stands beside his car before qualifying for the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Bowman ended Kyle Larson’s four-race winning streak when Larson blew a tire while leading on the last lap in Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Speedway in Pocono, Pa.

Larson had tracked Bowman down over the final 19 laps and then taken the lead from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Bowman with four laps to go.

Once out front, Larson put some comfortable space between himself and Bowman and was just over a turn away when the tire blew.

Bowman streaked past as Larson’s car bounced along the outside wall and went on to win was his third of the season.

It was Bowman’s first victory in 11 starts at Pocono and just his second top-five. It comes just days after he signed a two-year contract extension with Hendrick.

Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing, who led a race-best 30 laps, finished second, while Hendrick driver William Byron was third.

Rounding out the top five were Denny Hamlin of the Gibbs team and Ryan Blaney of Team Penske.

Larson skidded to a ninth-place finish.

Larson was attempting to join Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Bill Elliott, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson as winners of four Cup Series races in a row.

Larson also won the non-points All-Star Race during his streak.

Defending Series champion Chase Elliott’s very bad week continued when his car was rammed from behind by James Buescher as the cars went to power after taking the green flag to start the race. The hit flared the left rear fender outward creating a “parachute” effect.

But Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports team pounded away at the damage on ensuing pits stops and Elliott rallied to finish 12th.

Last Sunday in Nashville, Elliott was disqualified from the race when his car was found to have five loose lugnuts during post-race inspection.

The Cup cars will be back on the 2.5-mile triangular Pocono track on Sunday to complete their doubleheader weekend.

–Field Level Media