NASCAR's Tightest Ever Finish Was Too Close For Computers To Call

Gif: NASCAR / YouTube
Gif: NASCAR / YouTube

The NASCAR Cup Series finish at Kansas Speedway on Sunday night was virtually a dead heat, the closest finish in series history. The finish was so close, in fact, that electronic timing and scoring had the wrong car in first place. Plus, Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix had its own surprise winner as Lando Norris took the maiden victory of his top-level career. It’s Monday, May 6, 2024, and this is Racing Recap, your summary of last weekend’s motorsports highlights.

Larson Wins By One-Thousandth Of A Second In Kansas

Rain delayed the start of the AdventHealth 400 by three hours, but the race was worth the wait for the fans who stuck around. While the NextGen car has had its problems at short tracks and superspeedways, intermediate racing is incredible with the current generation of Cup Series stock cars. A presumptive fight for the win between Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. never materialized after Kyle Busch spun with seven laps to go and brought out the race’s final caution.


After the last round of pit stops, Hamlin retained the lead and Truex sunk to eighth after taking four fresh tires instead of two like the other front-runners. The No. 11 Camry was sandwichedbetween Chris Buescher and Kyle Larson in a three-wide restart. Buescher took the white flag first, and Larson was right behind him. The No. 5 Camaro made a move around the outside through Turns 3 and 4.

The cars were side-by-side on the run to the line, with Larson and Buescher banging doors. The transponders incorrectly had Buescher as the winner, but the camera told a different story. Larson was ahead at the line by less than a splitter. With a margin of victory of 0.001 seconds, it’s the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history. After climbing out of the car, Larson said to the crowd, “You guys got your money’s worth. I’m just glad to be a part of the show.”

Race Results

1. - Kyle Larson (Hendrick)
2. - Chris Buescher (RFK) - +0.001 seconds
3. - Chase Elliott (Hendrick) - +0.060 seconds
4. - Martin Truex Jr. (Gibbs) - +0.075 seconds
5. - Denny Hamlin (Gibbs) - +0.609 seconds

Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)

When McLaren rolled into Miami with essentially an entirely new B-spec car for Lando Norris, no one could expected that the team would win its first race since 2021. An opportunely-timed safety car allowed Norris to pit and take the lead from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. However, the McLaren was still fast enough to match and beat the Red Bull. Verstappen claims his speed was compromised by floor damage after he hit a cone. No matter how Norris got to victory lane, he has finally shaken off his tag as a choker he picked up after throwing away winning the 2021 Russian Grand Prix with a bad wet-weather tire decision.

Race Results

1. - Lando Norris (McLaren)
2. - Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - +7.612 seconds
3. - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - +9.920 seconds
4. - Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) - +14.650 seconds
5. - Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) - +16.407 seconds

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