Larson Tops Night One At Belleville

0
8
Kyle Larson (67) races through traffic on his way to winning on the opening night of the Belleville Midget Nationals at the Belleville High Banks in Kansas. (Ken Simon photo)
Kyle Larson (67) races through traffic on his way to winning on the opening night of the Belleville Midget Nationals at the Belleville High Banks in Kansas. (Ken Simon photo)

BELLEVILLE, Kan. — Eighteen-year old Kyle Larson continued his brilliant season capturing the 25-lap feature Friday night on the opening night for the 34th annual RevHoney Belleville Midget Nationals.

It marked the Elk Grove, Calif., driver’s first appearance at the track.

Larson jumped into the lead at the start, from the pole position. Two cautions during the first seven laps kept the field grouped together. Jerry Coons, Jr. passed Brad Loyet for second place on lap eight, while Larson increased his lead each lap.

Coons, running second, retired with engine problems on lap 13, one lap later the caution appeared for another stopped car. Brad Kuhn took over second place on the restart, while a heated battle waged for positions top fivefive. Larson appeared headed for an easy victory when Danny Sheridan stopped with a flat tire with four laps remaining.

On the restart, Larson was flawless, while Kuhn ran second, defending winner Bryan Clauson moved into third place, and challenged Kuhn for the runner-up position. Larson, driving the Keith Kunz owned Bullet-Toyota No. 71, finished 1.8 seconds ahead of Kuhn, Clauson, Loyet, and Caleb Armstrong.

Zach Daum, who started in 18th position, finished sixth, followed by Mario Clouser who earlier in the night during qualifications lowered the track record to 17.497 seconds, breaking Cole Whitt’s two-year old record.

Dalton Armstrong, Bobby East, and C.J. Johnson completed the top 10.

“This event has so much history, its great to score a victory here,” commented Larson afterward.

The finish:

Kyle Larson, Brad Kuhn, Bryan Clauson, Brad Loyet, Caleb Armstrong, Zach Daum, Mario Clouser, Dalton Armstrong, Bobby East, C.J. Johnson, Don Droud, Jr., Levi Roberts, Danny Sheridan, Cody Brewer, Garrett Hood, Jeff Stasa, Terry Goodwin, Josh Pelkey, Jerry Coons, Jr., Randy Boyer, Dave Darland, Darren Hagen, Chet Gehrke, Patrick Stasa, Todd Plemons.