AVONDALE, A.Z. (WETM) – This year’s winner at Watkins Glen International won his first NASCAR Cup Series championship on Sunday.

Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway to capture his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet won the Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 8th.

Larson took the lead on a late pit stop and held off Championship 4 contender Martin Truex Jr. for his 10th win this season. Championship 4 contender Denny Hamlin finished in third and Championship 4 contender and defending series champion Chase Elliott finished in fifth.

Larson rises to the top of NASCAR a year and a half after he used a racial slur while competing in an iRacing event in 2020 and was suspended by NASCAR and lost his job. He was reinstated in October of 2020. The Elk Grove, California native now has 16 career wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.