Larson edges Rahmer for victory
BECHTELSVILLE — Kyle Larson took the lead from Freddie Rahmer with less than two laps remaining in the Hodnett Cup feature Tuesday night at the Grandview Speedway in race number five of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.
For Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., it was his third win in his last four starts at Grandview. The win was worth $10,000 at the high-banked, third-mile track in Berks County.
“Finally, a short track in Pa. and that helps coming from California,” Larson said referring to the California short tracks he grew up racing on. “That was a really good race. I felt like at times I was good early and then other times, I’d mess up in (turns) three and four. It was kind of hard to hit it, but once the groove got defined up there, I figured out where I needed to run.
“I got by Sammy (Swindell) in traffic and then had a restart with 10 to go,” Larson said. “Freddie was setting such a good pace out front, I didn’t know if I’d have a shot to get him. He was getting really high off of four trying to follow the moisture. I was able to stay down and keep my right rear in a strip of grip and inch toward him and finally pull the trigger into one. It was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure it was going to stick getting by him, but thankfully it did and I came around to see the white.”
Larson has been getting some “advice” from his young son Owen after not winning any races in the first four Speedweek races.
“Owen has been giving me a lot of crap the last few nights running second and third and then sixth last night,” Larson joked. “He’s been putting a lot of pressure on me. It’s good to get a win. We’ll see what kind of talk he has with me going home tonight.”
Christopher Bell started on the pole with Rahmer to his outside. Bell grabbed the lead over Rahmer and Swindell when the 35-lap main event took the green.
Disaster struck for Bell, who won at Grandview last year, with five laps completed when he struck the slower car of Kyle Reinhardt and flattened his right rear tire.
Rahmer inherited the lead for the restart over Swindell and third starter Larson.
Lincoln Speedway winner Rico Abreu hit the third turn fence one lap later bringing out another yellow flag.
Once again, Rahmer controlled the restart, but Swindell stayed within striking distance after holding back Larson. Ryan Smith and Aaron Reutzel swapped the fifth spot.
The yellow flew again with 12 laps completed.
This time, Rahmer pulled away from Swindell on the restart and everybody blasted around the outside groove of the speedway.
Rahmer had a comfortable lead, but that went away when he caught two slower cars using both lanes of the speedway and he had nowhere to go.
This also allowed Larson to pass Swindell for second.
The yellow flew again with 10 to go.
Rahmer couldn’t get away from Larson this time. Larson stayed right with him and passed him entering turn one with 33 laps completed.
Larson led the final lap scoring his fifth career Speedweek win as Rahmer settled for second. Swindell, Ryan Smith and Danny Dietrich completed the top five. Lance Dewease, Brock Zearfoss, Reutzel, Anthony Macri and Logan Wagner rounded out the top 10.
Bell set quick time over the 31-car field with a lap of 11.552 seconds. Smith, Swindell, Zearfoss and Dietrich won the heat races. Abreu won the B-main.
Speedweek rolls into Port Royal Speedway tonight for a 30-lap main event paying $7,000 to win. Williams Grove hosts the Mitch Smith Memorial paying $15,000 to win Friday night after the series competes at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway Thursday night. The series returns to Port Royal for the finale on Saturday with the Greg Hodnett Classic paying $10,027 to win.
One day following the announcement that the King’s Royal would not be run this year at the Eldora Speedway in Ohio, officials from the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa announced the 60th Annual Nationals would be postponed until August 2021.
Knoxville will have races that week, but will be limited to only 7,000 fans per night. The Nationals typically have crowds of more than 20,000, and the four-day event pays out more than $1 million in purse money.
Sprint Car Feature (35 laps):
1. Kyle Larson. 2. Freddie Rahmer. 3. Sammy Swindell. 4. Ryan Smith. 5. Danny Dietrich. 6. Lance Dewease. 7. Brock Zearfoss. 8. Aaron Reutzel. 9. Anthony Macri. 10. Logan Wagner. 11. JJ Grasso. 12. Alan Krimes. 13. Brent Marks. 14. Ryan Taylor. 15. Dylan Cisney. 16. Lucas Wolfe. 17. TJ Stutts. 18. Kyle Moody. 19. Brandon Rahmer. 20. Robert Ballou. 21. Brett Michalski. 22. Kyle Reinhardt. 23. Rico Abreu. 24. Christopher Bell.
Speedweek points leaders: