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Larson dominates in 2nd victory of speedweek

HAGERSTOWN, MD — Kyle Larson dominated the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek stop at Hagerstown Speedway Thursday night and now holds a commanding lead in the series standings with two events remaining.

Unofficially, Larson leads Danny Dietrich by 112 points.

Larson’s win in the Johnny Grum Memorial was worth $5,000 and came in front of a huge crowd. It was his first career Hagerstown win and second of Speedweek.

Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., started on the pole of the 30-lap main event, grabbed the lead from Brock Zearfoss in turns one and two on the opening lap and dominated from there, leading by as much as five-seconds at one point.

“My car was really good,” Larson said. “I felt like I made up enough speed on entry into one that I didn’t have to follow the cushion all the way around. I could get down the backstretch really good, and use the moisture in three and four to help me get through lapped traffic. I could go where ever I wanted to. That helps especially in lapped traffic.”

Once Larson cleared Zearfoss off turn two, he streaked away from the field building a 2.5-second lead by the time he starting lapping slower cars.

While Larson was in a race of his own, the battle was for second between Zearfoss, Sammy Swindell and Danny Dietrich.

Swindell made the pass of Zearfoss in turn two and began chasing the leader. Larson was in heavy traffic allowing Swindell to cut into his lead.

Brent Marks charged up into third spot. Larson began pulling away, ahead after leading by 1.6-seconds at the half-way point.

From there, Larson turned up the wick even more, pulling away from the battle for second between Swindell and Marks.

Larson led by 4.8-seconds with nine laps to go as Marks took over second from Swindell as they raced down the backstretch.

The only yellow flag flew with seven laps to go. Larson controlled the restart as Marks took a shot at the lead. While Marks didn’t really let Larson get away, he couldn’t challenge again.

“I felt like I was setting a good pace,” Larson said. “I thought I hit my marks good after that restart. Brent runs the cushion really hard. I felt like I lapped a lot of people so I wanted it to stay green. I felt like I had a big enough gap on second. I didn’t want to see that caution. I didn’t know where Brent was running behind me and I saw

his number moving up on the board. That made me a little bit nervous, but I was able to hit my marks and come away with a win. The couple times I’ve been to Hagerstown before I haven’t really liked it and I haven’t ran good either. I had a lot of fun tonight. I think this is my first win on a half-mile track in Pennsylvania.”

His final margin of victory was .942. It was his sixth career Speedweek win. Marks had his best Speedweek result in second. Swindell completed the podium.

“We had a good night tonight and I thought I had something for him after the yellow,” Marks said. “Our cars were pretty much dead-even. We were just as good as he was just needed him to slip up a couple times, but he’s so good, he’s not going to do that. My car was great all night long.”

“We probably weren’t going to pass Kyle unless he got really messed up,” Swindell said. “I got hung up behind the 33 forever and let Brent Marks get up there to me. You can’t slow down. You have to get by guys. We changed some things today and it definitely made a difference. I think we’ll be able to give them a good run the next couple nights. I’ve always loved racing here.”

Rico Abreu and Freddie Rahmer completed the top five. Anthony Marci, Ryan Smith, Danny Dietrich, Chase Dietz and Mike Wagner rounded out the top 10. Dietrich had been racing inside the top five, but faded after the restart.

Larson set quick time over the 32-car field with a lap of 15.593 nearly eclipsing the track record 15.580. Kyle Reinhardt, Marks, Smith and Swindell won the heat races. Robbie Kendall won the B-main.

Speedweek concludes with the Mitch Smith Memorial tonight at Williams Grove Speedway, and then the Greg Hodnett Classic paying $10,027 to win Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway where the Speedweek champion will be crowned earning an additional $5,000.

Sprint Car Feature (30 laps): 1. Kyle Larson. 2. Brent Marks. 3. Sammy Swindell. 4. Rico Abreu. 5. Freddie Rahmer. 6. Anthony Macri. 7. Ryan Smith. 8. Danny Dietrich. 9. Chase Dietz. 10. Mike Wagner. 11. Brock Zearfoss. 12. Kyle Moody. 13. Kyle Reinhardt. 14. Logan Wagner. 15.Chad Trout. 16. Brent Michalski. 17.Robert Ballou. 18. TJ Stutts. 19.Jared Esh. 20. Justin Whittall. 21. Brandon Rahmer. 22. Lucas Wolfe. 23. Dylan Cisney. 24. Robbie Kendall.

DNQ: Doug Hammaker, Tyler Walton, Brent Shearer. Adrian Shaffer, Steve

Wilbur, Drew Ritchey, Troy Wagaman Jr.

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