Kyle Larson Dominates to Win Title, Chase Elliott Impresses: How Did NASCAR Drivers Perform at 2021 Chili Bowl?

Published 01/17/2021, 7:00 AM EST
RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 09: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


On Saturday night, Kyle Larson led every lap of the 55-lap A-main feature to clinch his second consecutive Chili Bowl Nationals trophy. The new Hendrick Motorsports star in NASCAR showed once again why he is the ‘king of midget dirt racing,’ holding off Justin Grant and Tanner Thorson for the win.

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All eyes were on the battle between NASCAR competitors Larson and Christopher Bell for the Golden Driller Trophy. The battle was certainly living up to expectations until just two laps to go, when Bell crashed and went for a wild triple spin that ended his race.

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Where did Christopher Bell and Chase Elliott finish?

Luckily, Bell remained unharmed. He finished the race in 13th place, missing out on his fourth title in five years.

Meanwhile, reigning NASCAR champion Chase Elliott failed to proceed from the F-main race earlier on Saturday as he finished in seventh place. However, Elliott put in an impressive run, considering this was his maiden Chili Bowl appearance and he hardly has any experience at such events.

Kyle Larson was highly excited after the win

Despite being one of the favorites to clinch the title, Larson admitted that he was extremely excited after winning the race, letting out a huge roar in his car.

I think anytime you win your first event, it’s like, massive, big, a big weight off your shoulders. And this year, I’m just excited, I was screaming probably just as much inside my helmet after the race,” Larson expressed in a post-race interaction.

At the same time, he also admitted that the atmosphere was very different this year due to the pandemic-induced restrictions for fans and everyone inside the venue.

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You get out of the car and the atmosphere here in the building was way different. You look around and they’re already starting to clean up. There’s not a fan left inside the stadium…That’s what made this win feel different,” Larson explained.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

How did the other NASCAR drivers fare?

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Meanwhile, there were other drivers with NASCAR connections who were part of the action on Saturday as well . Here’s how they performed:

  • Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 14 Chase Briscoe finished in ninth place and missed the A-main race by just one spot.
  • Alex Bowman‘s team, which fielded two cars, could not feature in the A-main race. Both drivers made it up to the B-main and C-main races, respectively.
  • Ryan Newman finished in sixth place in the G-main race, while Brett Moffitt finished in 13th place in the D-main.
  • Justin Allgaier won the I-main race and ended his run with a seventh place finish in H-main.
  • J. J. Yeley and Kasey Kahne were eliminated in the C-main race. Yeley missed the B-main entry by just one spot, while Kahne crashed in C-main.
  • Ryan Ellis finished eighth in J-main, while Garrett Smithley finished eighth in M-main.
  • ARCA West Series champion Jesse Love reached the B-main but finished 13th.
  • David Gravel also bowed out in the B-main

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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