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

Finish photos seemed to be the theme of the race 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 Something similar happened at Kansas Speedway on Sunday evening.

Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin all raced down the front stretch in hopes of scoring a huge Cup Series victory. Larson and Buescher collided coming out of the final turn.

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Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag ahead of Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 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 crosses the finish line

Kyle Larson, No. 5, crosses the finish line milliseconds ahead of Chris Buescher, No. 17, for the victory during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Buescher kept his composure and it looked like he was going to lock in and outrun Larson. However, the #5 car gained enough speed to narrowly cross the finish line ahead of the #17. Larson won the race by 0.001 seconds in the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history.

“I had no idea if I won or not,” Larson said. “But honestly, I didn’t really care. I was like, ‘Man, that was really great.'”

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This was a little harder for Buescher’s team to accept. Scott Graves, his crew chief, asked to meet with NASCAR officials in their truck. We showed him the photo finish and he accepted the result.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” Buescher said. “I haven’t seen a replay other than the photo, and I definitely can’t see in this photo. It sucks to be that close.”

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Buescher joked about X saying he had to pull out 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, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

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

A late warning forced a mad dash to the finish. The leaders went to the pits to make adjustments and Larson ultimately came out on top.

“I mean, I’ll always remember it, for sure,” Larson said. “There are definitely some wins that you can lose a little bit in the distance, but when you finish and you get the closest finish in Cup Series history, I don’t think you’ll forget it one day, even if it breaks one day, it’s great to be on that side.”

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 this season and leads the driver standings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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