This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Kyle Larson won his third consecutive race Sunday at Kansas Speedway with another dominating 1.5-mile oval performance. It was the second time the Hendrick Motosports driver has won three races in a row this season, and it gives him the chance to sweep wins in the round of eight before battling for the championship at Phoenix in two weeks. Larson was not alone at the front either. He and Chase Elliott took the top two positions with William Byron finishing sixth. The win gives Larson and the Hendrick organization confidence and momentum for the final two races of the season. Larson is already locked into the finale, while Elliott leaves Kansas with a comfortable points margin with just one more race to navigate in order to have a chance to defend his title from 2020.
The final race to decide the championship contenders is this Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Elliott won the race there last season to advance to Phoenix, which is where he won his first series championship. Martin Truex Jr. grabbed the checkered flag at the track earlier this year despite teammate Denny Hamlin leading the majority of laps. Team Penske's Ryan Blaney was the other contender that day with 157 laps led and two stage victories. All three of those drivers are in contention to advance to Phoenix with Blaney's teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski having the most work to do.
Kyle Larson – Larson dominated the opening stage at Kansas to pick up right