Larson Leads California Sweep In Ohio

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Kyle Larson takes the checkered flag Tuesday at Sharon Speedway. (Joe Secka/JMS Pro photo)

HARTFORD, Ohio — Kyle Larson picked up right where he left off on Monday evening, scoring a second consecutive Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket victory during competition at Sharon Speedway, ultimately holding off a pair of California natives for a $5,000 top prize.

Larson, who started sixth on the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions feature grid, wasted no time working his way to the front of the feature field. The pilot of the Paul Silva-owned/Finley Farms/No. 57 moved around early leader Rico Abreu on lap four, eventually withstanding multiple waves of traffic, as well as mid-race and late race charges from Abreu and Carson Macedo.

The Arctic Cat All Star victory was the sixth of Larson’s career with all six occurring during Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket.

“It’s really cool to win this race a year after Bryan Clauson won this race. The Clauson family means a lot to me,” Kyle Larson explained. “Paul Silva really made some big improvements tonight. He tried some things in the dash, but we were really slow. He made some more changes and they really worked out. Hats off to Paul. He’s the smartest guy in the pit area.”

Kyle Larson celebrates his second consecutive Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory. (Joe Secka/JMS Pro photo)

Kyle Larson was in charge, but the battle for second and third may have attracted just as much attention. Rico Abreu and Carson Macedo battled for nearly half of the entire 30-lap distance, exchanging positions and sliders on multiple occasions. Despite lap after lap of position swapping and slide job attempts, Macedo did not officially overtake Abreu for the runner-up position until lap 23.

“I had a lot of fun here tonight,” Macedo said, pilot of the Lucas Oil/Weld Wheels/Gaerte Engines by Topp Performance Race Parts/No. 3g. “This ended up being such an awesome race track. If you would have told me it was going to be that good at the beginning of the night, I would have never believed it. This team gave me a great car. Kyle Larson is the best right now. To run second to him, we’ll take that and move forward. I’m pretty happy. Everything is going pretty well for this team.”

A caution on lap 22 was the only pause during the Ohio Sprint Speedweek program. Despite the sudden stop in momentum, Larson used the restart to his advantage and instantly opened his lead to over two seconds. One last surge by Macedo with a few circuits remaining closed the gap, but Larson still crossed under the final checkers 1.25 seconds ahead of the running order.

“This dirt was great, too,” Larson explained. “You could run from the inside tires to the outside wall. I actually looked up at the scoreboard at one point and noticed that Macedo got around Abreu, so I knew he had to be pretty good because I saw Abreu’s nose a few times racing below me. I thought I was running a pretty good line, which was going to make it hard for Macedo to pass me. I have no idea where he was running, whether it was on the top or bottom. Regardless, it’s pretty cool to have a California podium sweep here.”

The finish:

Kyle Larson, Carson Macedo, Rico Abreu, Tim Shaffer, Danny Dietrich, Ryan Smith, Cole Duncan, Lee Jacobs, Danny Smith, Chad Kemenah, Dave Blaney, Max Stambaugh, T.J. Michael, Caleb Helms, Andrew Palker, Stuart Brubaker, D.J. Foos, Cale Conley, Caleb Armstrong, Roger Campbell, Jim Morris, Brent Matus, Trevor Baker, John Garvin, Travis Philo, Ryan Linder