Kyle Larson needed rain in Pocono to snap a victory drought.
Larson had the lead when the Xfinity Series race was red-flagged and won at Pocono Raceway for his first NASCAR victory of the season.
“I’m happy with it,” Larson said. “Now that the race is over and we’ve got the win, it can clear out (Sunday) so we can race in the Cup race.”
Both Sprint Cup practices sessions were wiped out Friday and rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast Sunday around the time of the scheduled Cup race.
But the rain Saturday came at an opportune time for the 23-year-old Larson.
“These rain races, a lot of it is luck,” he said. “I haven’t had a lot of luck this year, or my NASCAR career. Hopefully, the luck has turned and maybe we can start winning some Cup races, as well.”
Driving for owner Chip Ganassi, Larson led when the rain hit 53 laps into the scheduled 100-lap race and the race was called 1 hour, 35 minutes after the red flag came out. One of the most promising young drivers in NASCAR, Larson had come close this season to victory lane in both Sprint Cup – most notably at Dover – and the second-tier Xfinity Series but failed to win.
Thanks to some rain, he has his fourth career Xfinity win in 82 starts and first since the 2015 season finale at Homestead. Larson has yet to win at Sprint Cup.
“I didn’t really think I’d win today but it all worked out,” he said.
Xfinity raced for the first time at Pocono. The track has long held two Sprint Cup race weekends and added the Truck Series in 2010. The 250-miler is the first second-tier race on a track that has hosted NASCAR-sanctioned events since 1974.
Bourdais earns first win: Sebastien Bourdais raced to his first IndyCar victory of the season, beating Conor Daly by 2 seconds at Belle Isle in Detroit.
Bourdais had not led a single lap in any of the season’s first six races, and he hadn’t finished higher than eighth. He led only 12 of the 70 laps on the 2.35-mile street course, but Bourdais was able to hold on the rest of the way after Daly made a pit stop on lap 61 and gave up the lead.
Bourdais won for the second time at Belle Isle. He took the latter half of last year’s doubleheader at the Detroit course.
Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi finished 10th.
Bourdais won for the 35th time in his career.