Larson debuts at Port

PORT ROYAL – Kyle Larson is one of the hottest young racecar drivers in America.

He came from dirt track racing including winged and wingless sprint cars and midgets. Larson, a California native, is in his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi.

Larson, who turns 22 years old on July 31, is very young to be a sprint car owner, but since his dirt track racing days are limited now, Larson, along with former NASCAR driver Justin Marks, formed a brand new sprint car team for 2014.

The Larson/Marks Racing No. 2 made its debut during the Bob Weikert Memorial race Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway.

Oklahoma native Shane Stewart is the driver. Stewart had a very good night with a fourth place finish in the main event.

Larson and Marks met each other in Charlotte, N.C., where Marks owns a go kart track that Larson would race at when he got a chance.

Over the past two seasons, Larson and Stewart both drove – at times – for California car owner Paul Silva. Both had major event wins in Silva’s No. 57.

This led to a friendship and an offer from Larson to Stewart to drive his car. They will not follow a particular schedule, but travel the country looking for the highest paying sprint car races.

They will be back in Pennsylvania in two weeks to race with the World of Outlaws sprint car series at Lincoln and Williams Grove speedways. Pennsylvania native Steve Suchy is the crew chief of the No. 2.

“All in all, first night for this team, I’m happy,” Stewart said. “It’s the first time me and Steve have worked together and we made huge progress with the race car after the dash. I was pretty good in the A-main. It makes me feel proud as a driver to come here with a new team and be able to run with these guys.”

Co-owner Marks was in attendance as Larson started on the pole for the Sprint Cup race Saturday night in Richmond, Va.

“I’m really happy,” Marks said. “We sat down and established what the goals were going to be for the first race and it wasn’t results oriented. It was more about making sure the car was well prepped and everybody was working well together and make it through the evening without any hiccups. Shane got up on the wheel and did a fantastic job in the A.”

The team chose Port Royal because of the purse and it was closer than racing with the Outlaws in Missouri since the team is based in Charlotte.