NASCAR has a new points leader after the Coca-Cola 600

Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. both overtook Kyle Larson in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR / David Jensen/GettyImages

By opting to remain at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 108th running of the Indy 500, despite a four-hour rain delay that ensured he would not get to Charlotte Motor Speedway on time to start the Coca-Cola 600, Kyle Larson gave up his ability to score points in NASCAR's crown jewel race.

The goal was for Larson to complete the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana oval and then fly to Charlotte, where Justin Allgaier would have started the 400-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Concord, North Carolina oval behind the wheel of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Larson arrived at Charlotte when 249 of 400 laps had been completed. Unfortunately, the rain had begun to fall, and after a lengthy wait, NASCAR decided to call the race. Joe Gibbs Racing's Christopher Bell was declared the winner.

Even if the race had gotten going again, Larson would not have scored any points; had he won, Allgaier technically would have been credited with his first career Cup Series win.

Kyle Larson gives up NASCAR Cup Series points lead

Due to Larson's decision to stay at Indy, he is no longer the points leader. Larson had led the standings since the season's eighth race at Martinsville Speedway in early April. Now the lead belongs to Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin, who has not led at all this year.

In fact, both Hamlin and teammate Martin Truex Jr. jumped ahead of Larson in the standings with finishes of fifth and 12th place at Charlotte, respectively.

Hamlin is the sixth different points leader through the 2024 season's first 14 races. Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron led the standings after winning the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, but Richard Childress Racing's Kyle Busch took over after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Larson took the lead after the following race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before reigning series champion Ryan Blaney of Team Penske took the lead the following week at Phoenix Raceway. Larson and Truex were tied after the next race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Truex owned the lead after the next two races at Circuit of the Americas and Richmond Raceway before Larson took over at Martinsville.

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The season's 15th race is scheduled to take place at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway this Sunday, June 2, with live coverage set to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don't miss any of the action!