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Blaney takes lead on final restart, holds on to win Michigan

Ryan Blaney gave Team Penske a weekend sweep of NASCAR and IndyCar races and ended Kevin Harvick’s reign as the Michigan champ.
Credit: AP
Ryan Blaney stands next to the winner's trophy after the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Brooklyn, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Ryan Blaney took the lead from William Byron on a late restart and bobbed and weaved his way across the final seven laps to win at Michigan International Speedway.

Blaney edged Byron by 0.077 seconds — the closest finish on the two-mile track since electronic scoring began. He has two victories this season and six overall.

Kyle Busch gave Byron the push he needed to drive past Byron with eight laps left, and Kyle Larson, couldn’t get close enough to help his Hendricks Motorsports teammate, Byron, keep the lead. Larson finished third, Busch fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth.

Blaney gave Team Penske a weekend sweep of NASCAR and IndyCar races and ended Kevin Harvick’s reign as the Michigan champ.

Harvick won thee last three races and four of five at the track. The consolation prize was wrapping up the 15th spot in the 16-car playoff that begins in two weeks.

Chase Elliott beat his teammate, points leader Larson, to the finish line at the end of the first stage. Austin Dillon added some badly needed stage points in third. Dillon started the day in 17th, the wrong side of the cut line.

But Dillon’s day ended with the No. 3 Chevrolet slamming into the outside wall and into the air while racing side by side with Brad Keselowski at the end of the second stage.

Busch finished ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell to win the second stage, with Larson third.