Larson’s PA Time Trial Program Making A Difference

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Larson's PA Time Trial Program
Qualifying has made the difference in Kyle Larson's PA Speedweek title quest. (Dennis Bicksler photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. – On Wednesday night at Port Royal Speedway, Kyle Larson and Paul Silva moved one step closer to becoming the first team without in-state lineage to win the Pennsylvania Speedweek title.

In time trials alone, Larson has outscored Dietrich by 26 points over the past two races at Grandview. And he hasn’t just timed well the past two races, either. He’s been starting his night in prime position all week, timing sixth, second, sixth, first, second, and first in six Speedweek races.

It’s important to note, given Larson’s 47-point cushion over Dietrich with three races to go since 40 points are handed out for quick-time and 35 for second.

Starting with 30 points for third, each position down the lineup loses a point.

“We’ve been qualifying good,” Larson said. “We’ve been doing that a lot. It’s not like we’re racing bad either. Time trials have been helping us out a lot.”

After a fourth-place finish Wednesday, Larson outscored Dietrich by 23 points and has now bettered Dietrich by 78 points over the past two nights.

“It’s good to gain some points,” Larson said. “Still a few nights left and as I’ve shown the last few nights, you can make up a lot of points. He could gain a lot of points on us.”

The series now heads to Hagerstown, a place where Dietrich understandably has more experience and success than the guy he’s chasing.

Larson last raced at Hagerstown in 2017, finishing 11th in a race where he was a non-factor from the onset. That ended a six-race win-streak for Larson, and while he doesn’t carry a streak into this year’s Hagerstown stop, he’s running just as good as then and obviously doesn’t want this time around to derail such momentum.

“I’ve never been good [at Hagerstown],” Larson said. “But I’m not too worried.”

If Larson can get through Hagerstown with another solid run and hold steady atop the standings, he’ll sit in good shape going into the finish at Williams Grove and Port Royal.

While he doesn’t necessarily have to win on a half mile in Pennsylvania for the first time in his career, a win or two these next three nights would firm up his likelihood of becoming the first invader to take the Speedweek title.

“It’d be nice,” Larson said. “A team from California. Me being from California to win Pennsylvania Speedweek would mean a lot to us and our team and the caliber of teams and drivers from California.”