Photo by: Paul Arch
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 21, 2018) – With an off weekend in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series (NMECS), KLR team owner, Kyle Larson was able to get back to his roots and participate in the first six nights of Ohio Speedweek with the All Star Circuit of Champions. Friday night at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park, Larson qualified fourth in Group 1 and won the opening heat race, along with the second dash. He led the first 18 laps of the 40-lap main event, but slapped the wall and was unable to finish, resulting in a 23rd-place score.
The following night at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Larson was the fastest qualifier in Group 1 of qualifying and advanced two spots in Heat 1 to finish second. He gained a position in the second dash to start the main event from the outside of row four for the main event.
Larson wasted little time making his way to the front of the field, boosting himself to fourth in just one lap and was up to second by lap seven. Two circuits later, he caught the leader and used a slingshot move off turn two to capture the lead. On lap 13, Dave Blaney put the moves on Larson to steal the lead and the two battled it out in the closing laps. Larson regained the top spot from Blaney on lap 24 and was able to hold him off to earn his first winged 410 sprint car victory at The Big E.
“I’m so happy to get it done here tonight for my guys. Paul Silva and the crew built the car this morning; this is a brand new car from the tires up,” said Larson. “We got here just in time to catch the drivers meeting and get in the seat for hot laps. I made a mistake last night [at Attica Raceway Park] and it cost us a car. This really makes up for that. I’ve now won in every kind of car I have ever raced here at Eldora. That’s pretty cool considering I’ve only raced here like ten times.”
On Father’s Day Sunday at Waynesfield (Ohio) Raceway Park, Larson was the fastest qualifier in Group 3 and gained two positions in his heat race to finish second. He then won the second dash and got the early lead for the 35-lap main event from his outside front row starting spot. He led the first 18 laps, but ultimately got passed by the eventual race winner on lap 19 in traffic and then the track surface rubbered-up around the bottom keeping Larson from making up ground, resulting in a runner-up score.
Monday at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, Larson was the fastest qualifier in Group 1 and finished fourth in his heat race. He won the second dash, lining him up on the outside of the front row for the 30-lap feature event. The pilot of the Silva Motorsports No. 57 got the jump on the initial start and led all 30 circuits to become the first repeat winner of Ohio Speedweek.
“We weren’t very good in our heat race, but Paul made some adjustments and we were much better in the dash,” said Larson in victory lane. “It’s really important to make the dashes. Not only does it put you closer to the front in the main, but it also gives you more access to the track so you can try and learn something. Hats off to Paul and this entire team. He wasn’t too happy about last night [at Waynesfield Raceway Park] but he is incredibly smart and keeps me going in the right direction.”
On Wednesday night at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Larson was once again quickest in his qualifying group and started fourth in his heat race where he finished fourth. He started third in the second dash and finished sixth. Mother Nature intervened, and unleashed a complete downpour, postponing the feature event until Saturday.
Larson will be back in action this weekend at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the NMECS Toyota Save Mart 350.
|DATE: June 15, 2018
QUALIFYING GROUP 1: 4th
DASH 2 STARTING POSITION: 1st
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 2nd
DATE: June 16, 2018
DATE: June 17, 2018
DATE: June 18, 2018
DATE: June 19, 2018
DATE: June 20, 2018
|TRACK: Attica Raceway Park
HEAT 1: 1st
DASH 2 FINISH: 1st
FEATURE FINISH: 23rd
TRACK: Eldora Speedway
TRACK: Waynesfield Raceway Park
TRACK: Wayne County Speedway
TRACK: Sharon Speedway
TRACK: Atomic Speedway