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Larson dominant while notching win in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Larson claimed the first of four championship-contending spots in NASCAR’s season finale with a dominating victory at Texas on Sunday to start the round of eight in the playoffs.

Larson led 256 of 334 laps at the 1 1/2-mile track and got his eighth win this season, surviving seven restarts in the final stage. Three of those restarts came after incidents involving other playoff contenders in the closing laps.

This was the first chance for anyone to guarantee a shot at racing for the Cup title in Phoenix on Nov. 7.

Already with a significant points lead, and coming off a win on the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway a week earlier to close out the second elimination round, Larson left no doubt about the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet being part of the championship four.

There were two laps remaining on the final restart, and Larson was able to stay out in front of teammate William Byron.

The seven remaining playoff contenders leave Texas with two chances to get into the championship four, with Kansas and Martinsville left before the finale.