Larson wins 3rd straight
BECHTELSVILLE — Kyle Larson scored his third straight Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek win Tuesday night at Grandview Speedway.
The win was worth $5,000 for the NASCAR cup point leader in a car owned by California’s Paul Silva.
Although Larson led most of the race, Ryan Smith did pass him for the lead off the second corner on lap 24, but then crashed entering turn three giving the lead back to Larson.
“I got extremely lucky tonight and I’ll take that,” Larson said in victory lane. “Ryan Smith was definitely better than me. I felt loose up top and I kept peeking to my inside and I could see something bright coming and I knew it was him. I moved down to the bottom and felt okay down there, but I could hear his engine and I was afraid to move up because he would probably just slide me and drive away.”
Smith pressured Larson for laps before making the pass.
“He drove right around me and caught the fence into three,” Larson said of Elk Grove, Calif. “I hate to see him tear his stuff up like that, but I’ll take that break and another win here in Pa. It was a hard race. I felt like I was on defense the whole time. I didn’t have a lot of grip out there. Paul Silva made some changes under the red and got me dialed in a little bit better.”
Larson started fourth and along with Greg Hodnett split Ryan Taylor in turn two on the opening lap of the 35-lap main event.
Hodnett led the first lap and turned back a Larson slider in turns one and two to keep that spot. They traded the lead again in three and four. They made contact entering turn one on the third lap with Hodnett stopping against the fence.
TJ Stutts blasted by three cars on the restart to take second.
A yellow slowed the pace with seven laps completed.
Behind the leaders, the racing was three-wide for fifth between Smith, Danny Dietrich and James McFadden as they entered turn three.
A lap 10 caution slowed the field again.
Stutts went to the top again on the restart and Rico Abreu tried to slide Taylor. He made that pass, but he and Stutts made contact off turn two with both cars spinning.
Tyler Walker flipped in turn three following the restart and collected Brandon Rahmer. They were okay.
Smith moved by Taylor and into second on the restart. He stayed with Larson over the next few laps as he ran the inside line and Larson the top.
Smith passed Larson off turn two, but then crashed entering three. He was okay.
Larson controlled the restart and the remaining laps as 18th starter Freddie Rahmer made his way up to second at the finish. Danny Dietrich, Taylor and Alan Krimes completed the top five. McFadden, JJ Grasso, Dale Blaney, Brock Zearfoss and Abreu rounded out the top 10.
Stutts set fast time over the 25-car field with a lap of 11.812. Abreu, Hodnett and Taylor won the heat races.
Speedweek continues Wednesday night at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway and then on to Port Royal Speedway Thursday night.
Rahmer unofficially took the Speedweek point lead back from Wolfe, who went into the night only 14 points ahead and finished 11th.
ABBOTTSTOWN – Kyle Larson raced from ninth to the lead in seven laps and then turned back Alan Krimes over the final five laps to win round four of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek Monday night at Lincoln Speedway.
Larson’s second straight Speedweek win, and first of his career at Lincoln, was worth $5,000. His night didn’t start out well as he only timed 22nd, but raced to second in his heat race earning him the ninth starting spot.
“I’ve now won in central Pa.,” an excited Larson said in victory lane. “Last night (Path Valley) was my style of track, but tonight wasn’t. This is awesome to get the win in front of a huge crowd.”
It was Larson’s fifth straight winged Sprint car win overall as he’s won at the World of Outlaws and All Stars over the past month.
“I can’t believe I’m standing up here …. five winged Sprint car wins in a row,” Larson said. “Lincoln is a tough place and kicked my butt a couple times before when I was here. I’m really, really excited to win. This means a lot.”
Larson also leads the NASCAR cup series point standings.
“Our teams are really, really good right now and I’m having fun,” Larson said. “Having confidence helps a bunch no matter what type of car I get in. Right now, I’ve got all the confidence in the world.”
Two-time Speedweek champion Lucas Wolfe started on the pole of the 30-lap main event with former Ohio Speedweek champion Dale Blaney starting second.
Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., started inside row five, but wasn’t back there long as Wolfe grabbed the lead.
While most drivers raced the inside groove, Larson blasted around a narrow cushion. A two-car pass of Dale Blaney and Tim Glatfelter put Larson fourth in only two laps.
He continued to be the only car making the top work and passed Trey Starks for third. Larson passed Alan Krimes in turns three and four taking the runner-up spot on lap six and used an identical pass the next lap to take the lead from Wolfe.
“I can’t believe the top was that good early on in the race and I was able to cruise to the lead,” Larson said.
In just five laps, Larson built his lead up to 2.686 seconds.
Krimes passed Wolfe for second with 14 laps completed as Larson was working through heavy lapped traffic with a 2.103 second lead.
Brian Montieth was running fifth when he spun in turn two with 16 laps completed.
Larson controlled the restart, but didn’t really pull away from Krimes. Matt Campbell and Dale Blaney swapped fourth. Campbell got too high and into the second turn fence bringing out the final caution with 10 laps to go.
With five laps to go, Krimes began to close on Larson. He was running the topside in turns three and four and low in one and two. Krimes was working the bottom at both ends of the track.
Larson went back to the top and that really allowed Krimes to close on lap 26. Larson went back low the next time around.
“I watched so many videos of Krimes here creeping around the bottom,” Larson said. “I knew I’d have to move down eventually. I moved down, but I wasn’t very good down there and I could hear him. I had to make sure I didn’t miss my marks too bad and slip up off the bottom and let him get underneath me. Hats off to Paul Silva. He’s the best in the business. I wish we could go full-time racing, but Sundays take up my time. Someday Paul and I will go on the road full time and I’m looking forward to it.”
The two-time Lincoln champion kept the pressure on Larson over the final laps, but settled for second by 0.280.
“I guess it’s not too bad running second to Kyle although he doesn’t have near as many laps down here as I do,” Krimes said. “He did a heck of a job. They watered the bottom before the feature. I didn’t think anybody could come up through on the top. I was kind of following Lucas around the bottom and Kyle drove around us on the top.”
Blaney passed Wolfe over the final laps to finish third. Wolfe took over the Speedweek point lead with his fourth place finish. Trey Starks completed the top five.
Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Glatfelter, Gerard McIntyre Jr. and Cory Haas rounded out the top 10.
TJ Stutts set fast time over the 42-car field with a lap of 13.684 seconds. Ryan Smith, Krimes, Blaney and Starks followed Stutts in qualifying.
Starks, Wolfe, Montieth and Glatfelter won the 10-lap heat races. Smith won the consolation.