Kyle Larson pulled away from fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick over the final 30 laps to win the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon.
Erik Jones, in fourth place, was the top finisher among Xfinity Series regulars.
He was followed by Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler, who entered the race tied for the Round of 8 points lead, in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Here's a look at the top finishers from the season's 31st race:
|2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series: O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Results|
And let's check out the updated standings in the Chase:
|2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series: Round of 8 Standings|
|7||6||Darrell Wallace Jr.||-36|
The crowded pack atop the standings is making for a dramatic finish to the season. Tim Durr of Fox Sports passed along Suarez's comments about feeling uncertainty even when his team is running well:
I'm just starting in this sport and I feel like I'm still learning a lot every single weekend. I really feel like we are one of the best teams right now – maybe the hottest team right now – and that obviously helps a lot, but, you know, I’m one of those guys that I just try to do my work and everything else is going to take care of itself if you do it right.
It became the Keselowski show for a vast majority of the race. He ended up leading 145 of the 200 laps with a dominant car, with his lead increasing to more than three seconds during extended green-flag runs.
The Xfinity Series highlighted one of his duels with Larson, who was often the only driver within striking distance during the middle of the race:
Xfinity Racing showcased the No. 22 car's nearly flawless run as the race went to a caution at Lap 133:
Larson was finally able to get past Keselowski with 29 laps to go. Once he managed to pull clear, he was able to maintain a comfortable lead of around a half-second for the rest of the way.
Xfinity Racing spotlighted the pass that gave the No. 42 car the lead for good:
All he needed to do from there was navigate slower lapped traffic to maintain the advantage, and there were no problems in that regard as he coasted to the checkered flag. It was his second win in the Xfinity Series this year, with his first coming at the Pocono Green 250.
Texas Motor Speedway passed along a look at the Victory Lane celebration:
The Performance Racing Network provided some post-race remarks from the winner:
Looking ahead, the Xfinity Series will return to action next Saturday for the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. It's the penultimate race of the campaign, and there are still more questions than answers about who's going to qualify for the Championship 4 and who will walk away with the title.
Although the presence of Sprint Cup Series drivers in the late-season races, which NASCAR announced won't happen next year, creates an unusual dynamic, the close standings ensure there's plenty of entertainment value as the Chase nears its conclusion.