Gallery: NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday March 21, 2021

With a pass for the lead with eight laps left in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney took the air out of an otherwise dominating performance by Kyle Larson, who had to settle for second place after winning the first two stages and leading 269 of 325 laps.

“Gosh, we had a great long-run car all day,” Blaney said after climbing from his No. 12 Team Penske Ford. “It took us a little bit to get going. I was pretty free all day, so we made a really good change to tighten me up where I needed it.

“It looked like Kyle was getting loose, and I’m happy it worked into our favor that there were a couple of long runs at the end (that) let us kind of get there, and he got slowed up behind some lapped traffic… It’s nice to close out a race like that—it was awesome.”

Blaney’s first victory at Atlanta and the fifth of his career extended the streak of different NASCAR Cup Series winners this season to six. The victory was the fifth straight at the 1.54-mile track for Ford drivers.

For the fourth time in his career, Larson swept the first two stages of a race and failed to win the event.

Alex Bowman ran third, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10. The NASCAR Cup series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway where it will race on dirt for the first time since 1970 next Sunday.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Toyota, lead the field to start the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Toyota, lead the field on a pace lap prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Toyota, siyts in his car prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia

Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Messages Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, spins into the wall after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, drives a damaged car off the track after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 McDonalds Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Smoke is seen from the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, driven by Chase Elliott, during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.

Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, hands the Sunoco flag to a young NASCAR fan after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 21, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia.


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