ORRVILLE, Ohio — Kyle Larson ended a week’s worth of victory celebrations by winning Monday night’s Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket feature at Wayne County Speedway.
Larson’s first Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory of the season came one day after he grabbed his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory of the year at Michigan Int’l Speedway. The week started with a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series triumph last Tuesday at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway.
Larson, who started eighth, took command from Cale Conley on lap 13. It was a fifth career victory for Larson during Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions competition, his second at Wayne County Speedway.
Interestingly enough, all five of Larson’s Arctic Cat All Star victories have come during Ohio Speedweek
“I was a little nervous during our dash tonight, but we were able to gain a few positions and increase our starting position by a few rows,” Larson explained in victory lane, pilot of the Finley Farms/Howard Johnson of Lima/No. 57. “I just tried to be patient the whole race. I knew we had a really good car.”
Larson’s march to the front started right from the drop of the green flag, appearing inside the top five as early as lap six. A series of cautions, one for early race leader Brad Haudenschild, kept the feature field stacked together on three separate occasions during the first six circuits.
Unfortunately for all of those in attendance, one pause in action was caused by a power outage. The track lighting would soon reappear.
By lap nine, Larson moved his way into third, eventually setting up a pass to take second on lap 11, soon followed by the winning move on lap 13; driving under Cale Conley at the entrance of turn three and having full command by the exit of turn four.
From that point forward, Larson was flawless, even surviving one final caution with less than two circuits remaining. Tim Shaffer and Caleb Helms, who were each battling for second and third in the running order, made contact just before the flag stand on lap 29. Their misfortune allowed Kasey Kahne and Chad Kemenah to claim second and third, respectively.
“I got to traffic and I started to worry a little bit,” Larson explained. “I thought I saw the guys racing behind me creep up on my inside a little bit. I saw a 4 and 1’ on the scoreboard and I thought Kasey (Kahne) and Chad (Kemenah) both started pretty far back, so I knew they had to be pretty good. Luckily, we hung on those last few laps and got the win.”
Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Chad Kemenah, D.J. Foos, Rob Chaney, Carson Macedo, Byron Reed, Cole Duncan, Ryan Smith, Broc Martin, Tyler Esh, T.J. Michael, Max Stambaugh, Parker Price-Miller, Caleb Helms, Tim Shaffer, Danny Mumaw, Rico Abreu, Cale Conley, Joe Swanson, Andrew Palker, Caleb Armstrong, Brandon Matus, Brad Haudenschild, Dave Blaney, Dean Jacobs.