Larson Invades, Scores Round One Of Williams Grove National Open Friday
Californian wires for first World of Outlaws oval win
Mechanicsburg – Kyle Larson overcame a lackluster time trial effort in his heat race and then fought through a mid-feature error on the cushion to speed to the win in the opening night of the World of Outlaws Champion Racing Oil National Open for sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
The feature win was worth $10,000 for Larson as the fourth of his career at the track however it was his first over the World of Outlaws at Wlliams Grove Speedway.
The current NASCAR point leader, Larson drew the pole for the start of the 25-lap feature but only got one lap completed as the leader before the first of four caution flags fell over the event, this one for a spun Brad Sweet in the first turn.
Logan Schuchart and Donny Schatz gave chase on the restart with Schatz getting under Schuchart for second in the first turn.
However Schuchart fought back and reclaimed the spot with an outside blast at the other end of the track to maintain second back to the line on lap two.
Larson dropped the hammer when the laps began stringing together and he entered the rear of the field on the seventh tour.
But in traffic Larson wasn’t nearly as stout and Schuchart quickly cut down the distance before caution number two appeared on lap nine for a slowing Aaron Reutzel.
Larson jetted away at the new green only to see the yellow again slow his pace three laps later, wiping away his 1.4-second lead.
This time around the yellow was for a tangle between Sheldon Haudenschild and Justin Henderson in turn four that saw Henderson stop and Haudenschild limp away with a flat tire.
Schatz made attempts for second when action resumed to no avail as a fleet-running Schuchart kept him at bay while also sticking with the leader.
By lap 14 Larson had just a one turn lead that he carried into traffic a few circuits later.
And it was while working traffic with seven laps to go that Larson hopped the cushion in the fourth corner, forcing him to take evasive action in order to right the car as he swerved onto the homestretch with Schuchart now nose to tail thanks to the miscue.
Schuchart was giving Larson all he could handle when a reprieve in the form of the final caution flag with five laps to go allowed Larson to settle down and regroup.
The restart saw Larson perform his usual on the cushion, staying ahead of Schuchart handily to the finish with a margin of .905 seconds separating the pair at the checkers.
“I caught a lot of breaks tonight,” Larson said after taking the win.
“I didn’t qualify well. I got a caution in the heat allowing us to get to second.”
Slated to start fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega, Larson spoke about what happened in the Friday feature event.
“The cautions fell during the right times during the feature. We’ll take it. Hopefully, we didn’t use our luck up for tomorrow,” he said of his planned return to the track on Saturday night for the $75,000-to-win 59th annual, 40-lap National Open.
“I started sniffin’ some dirty air and it was getting dusty, it was hard to see the cushion, and I got over it,” Larson said of his flub late in the race.
“Logan was good all night and I knew he’d be there. I wasn’t surprised to see him in one. I had to make a couple good decisions to hold the lead.”
Schatz was third in the main followed by Anthony Macri, Brent Marks and Lance Dewease.
Freddie Rahmer came from a provisional 26th starting spot to finish seventh.
Danny Dietrich moved from 21st starting spot to ride home eighth.
Daryn Pittman and Carson Macedo completed the top ten finishers.
Heats for the 49-car field went to Dewease, Dylan Cisney, Marks and Schatz.
Chase Dietz won the C Main and Dietrich copped the B Main.
The non-qualifiers race went to Landon Myers.
Larson won the dash to start on the pole of the main event.
Lance Dewease set overall fast time in time trials with a lap of 16.733 seconds.
410 sprint cars, 25 laps: 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Logan Schuchart, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Anthony Macri, 5. Brent Marks, 6. Lance Dewease, 7. Freddie Rahmer,8. Danny Dietrich, 9. Daryn Pittman, 10. Carson Macedo, 11. Dylan Cisney, 12. Justin Peck, 13. Brian Brown, 14. James McFadden, 15. Brad Sweet, 16. Justin Henderson, 17. Kasey Kahne, 18. Sheldon Haudenschild, 19. Matt Campbell, 20. Spencer Bayston, 21. Ryan Smith, 22. Devon Borden, 23. Kyle Reinhardt, 24. Pat Cannon. 25. David Gravel. 26. Aaron Reutzel, 27. Kraig Kinser
DNQ: Chase Dietz, Brent Shearer, Rico Abreu, Giovanni Scelzi, Kyle Moody, Jacob Allen, Aaron Bollinger, Chad Trout, Steve Buckwalter, Robbie Kendall, Tyler Ross, TJ Stutts, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Justin Whittall, Zach Hampton, Troy Fraker, Jason Sides, Landon Myers, Steve Downs, Wayne Johnson, Brock Zearfoss