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Larson wins 2nd NASCAR All-Star race

Kyle Larson (5) and Ryan Newman (6) head down the front stretch during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Larry Papke)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — 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 for the lead, and pushed Hendrick Motorsports to its second consecutive win, and 10th overall, in the annual non-points race with a seven-figure prize.

Defending All-Star winner and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott, who started the sixth and final segment of the 100-lap race 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 before Keselowski pulled ahead briefly at the line, then Larson got ahead to stay for the last eight laps.

“That last restart worked out exactly how I needed it to. I wanted Chase to not get a good run down the back,” Larson said.

“Thankfully, I think (Keselowski) got to his inside, and I just shoved him down the back and he probably thought I was going to just follow him and I was like, there’s got to be enough grip where we’d be running for one corner,” he said. “It was a little slick up there but I was able to get it and hold him off from there. I can’t believe it.”

Larson said he had nearly all four tires in a groove above where they had been running laps. He had decided earlier that he’d go for it if given the chance.

“No points on the line … If I wreck, I wreck,” he said.

Crew chief Cliff Daniels said he didn’t even think there was a lane up there, “and he put it up there, and it stuck.”

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