DARLINGTON, S.C. – For the fifth time this season, the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro took the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In Saturday’s race at Darlington Raceway, it was Kyle Larson behind the wheel of the ride for the second time this season.
After qualifying 12th, Larson wasted no time moving to the top five. He held that spot by lap 10, got to third on lap 17 and took over second on lap 22. He finished the opening 45-lap stage in second. Restarting fifth for stage two, Larson quickly moved to third and maintained that position for the remainder of the stage.
During the stage break, the team lifted the hood on the No. 17 as Larson had reported being low on power. The crew replaced the carburetor and he restarted at the rear for pitting when pit road was closed. On the seven-lap green-flag run to open the final stage, the 31-year-old driver drove from 32nd to 22nd. With a caution on lap 104, Larson brought the car back down pit road and work continued under the hood before the car was eventually pushed to the garage. Larson rejoined the race with 14 laps to go. At day’s end, the No. 17 entry was scored in 38th.
Denny Hamlin got the victory in an overtime finish at the 1.366-mile track.
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Larson won the spring Xfinity race at Darlington. The victory came in May when he drove the No. 10 Chevrolet (for Kaulig Racing) and beat John Hunter Nemechek in one of the best finishes of the season. Last September, Larson nearly won at the 1.366-mile track in the No. 17 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. He rallied from two laps down to hold the lead coming to the white flag, but last-lap contact saw him finish fifth. In his Xfinity career, Larson has 14 wins.
In its five starts of 2023, the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Xfinity entry came oh-so-close to victory lane. William Byron earned a runner-up finish at Circuit of The Americas in March, Larson finished third at Sonoma Raceway in June and Chase Elliott came home third at Pocono Raceway in July. Alex Bowman placed ninth at Watkins Glen International in August.
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The No. 17 car number a special significance to the organization. It was driven by Ricky Hendrick in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in 2000 and 2001. The HendrickCars.com paint scheme was again based on the No. 17 truck driven by Hendrick during his 2001 rookie season.
In its history, Hendrick Motorsports has won one Xfinity Series championship and earned 26 wins in the series. The organization’s four races in 2022 marked its first action in the series since 2009 when Tony Stewart took home the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway. In its nine combined races in the series in 2022 and 2023, the No. 17 team has three poles, three runner-up finishes, six top-fives, seven top-10s and 139 laps led.