Kyle Larson wins at Kansas in closest NASCAR Cup Series finish in history

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Photo finishes appeared to be the theme of the racing weekend as more than 24 hours after Kentucky Derby fans saw one of the closest finishes in recent memory, NASCAR fans got to see something similar play out at Kansas Speedway on Sunday night.

Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin all came down the front stretch in hopes of picking up a huge Cup Series win. Larson and Buescher were bumping each other as they exited the final turn.

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Kyle Larson edges Chris Buescher

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag over Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Castrol Edge Ford, to win the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 5, 2024 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson gets to the finish line

Kyle Larson, #5, crosses the finish line milliseconds in front of Chris Buescher, #17, for the win during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Buescher kept his composure, and it looked like he was going to lock in and edge Larson. However, the No. 5 car somehow picked up enough speed to narrowly cross the line in front of the No. 17. Larson won the race by 0.001 seconds in the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history.

“Had no clue if I won or not,” Larson said. “But honestly didn’t really care. I was like, ‘Man, that was frickin’ awesome.'”

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It was a bit tougher for Buescher’s team to accept. Scott Graves, his crew chief, asked to meet with NASCAR officials in their hauler. He was shown the photo-finish and accepted the outcome.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” Buescher said “I haven’t seen a replay other than just the picture, and I sure can’t see in that picture. That sucks to be that close.”

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Buescher joked on X that he needed to pull a Lightning McQueen to beat Larson.

Kyle Larson holds the trophy

Kyle Larson, center, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

“Guess I should’ve pulled a Lightning McQueen and stuck out my tongue,” he said in reference to the movie “Cars.”

A late caution forced the mad dash to the finish. Leaders went to pit to make adjustments and Larson came out the victor in the end.

“I mean, I’ll always remember this, for sure,” Larson said. “There’s definitely wins that you can kind of get lost in the distance a little bit, but when you finish and have the closest finish in Cup Series history, I don’t think you’re ever going to forget about it, even if it gets broken someday. Great to be on this side of it.”

Pole-sitter Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Noah Gragson and Michael McDowell rounded out the top 10.

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Larson has two wins on the season and is leading the driver standings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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