Penultimate Midget Week Round Goes Larson’s Way

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Penultimate Midget Week Round
Kyle Larson celebrates in victory lane at Lawrenceburg Speedway on Saturday. (Ryan Sellers photo)

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – Kyle Larson’s losing streak certainly didn’t last very long.

After being bested by his Tucker/Boat Motorsports teammate Chad Boat on Friday night at Lincoln Park Speedway, Larson roared back for his fourth win in five Indiana Midget Week races during Saturday’s penultimate round at Lawrenceburg Speedway.

Larson had finished first or second in his past 10 dirt-track races, including eight wins in a row across three different series, entering Saturday night. And when it mattered most, the top two is exactly where he was at Lawrenceburg, positioning him to capitalize on a restart with four laps left.

The Elk Grove, Calif., native slid by race leader Thomas Meseraull and went on to victory by 1.704 seconds over runner-up Buddy Kofoid, who passed Meseraull for that spot coming to the white flag.

Saturday night’s score kept the Tucker/Boat team a perfect five-for-five during Indiana Midget Week, and also tied Larson with the late Bryan Clauson for the most Indiana Midget Week wins in history at nine. It was his 23rd NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series win overall.

“That was a fun race,” Larson exclaimed. “You had to work for that one and, once again, (we had) a good enough car to keep us in contention. Chad Boat and everybody there, they prepare such nice cars, probably the nicest midgets in the pits.”

After starting third, his best starting spot of the week to date, Larson spent most of the race lurking as Kofoid led from the outset – taking advantage of a slide by polesitter Tyler Courtney to pace the early laps.

But a lap-six caution for the flipping car of Andrew Layser set up Meseraull’s charge forward, as he dove to Kofoid’s inside on the ensuing restart and took command of the event.

Moments later, Larson followed past Kofoid, setting up a three-wide scrap for the top spot on lap 11 as Meseraull fended the challenging duo off and Kofoid eventually reclaimed second from Larson on the inside.

A 15-lap green-flag run was ended by a caution for the slowing Jason McDougal, who suffered a flat tire in his first ride in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports No. 97. McDougal returned with fresh rubber, while Meseraull tried to hang on for an eight-lap run to the checkered flag.

Kyle Larson (86) races Thomas Meseraull Saturday at Lawrenceburg Speedway. (Ryan Sellers photo)

The lap-22 restart saw Larson slide Meseraull, only for Meseraull to answer and cross back underneath. The very next lap, both Larson and Kofoid dove past Meseraull, but yet again the California fan favorite was up to the task and re-passed both challengers to hold serve out front.

But with four laps left, a 360 spin by Clinton Boyles slowed the pace for the last time, setting up the run to the checkered flag in which Larson served up a race-winning turn-one slider on the final green flag.

“I couldn’t really run the top like I wanted to because I’d bounce a lot, then I’d get in the cushion and I’d be bogging,” Larson explained. “I knew I had to try and make something else work. I slid T-Mez there one time and I felt there was a lot of grip at the entry of one. Once I got clear of Buddy there after he got by me on the one restart, I was able to just run that line to protect any sliders that might get thrown at me.

“At the same time, I could make up a little ground on him and I knew that, on that next caution I got, I had to do everything I could because we only had like four laps to go.”

Behind Larson, Kofoid and Meseraull, series point leader Windom and Courtney filled out the top five.

Larson’s Indiana Midget Week lead stands at a nearly insurmountable 57 over Kofoid entering the finale.

To view complete race results, advance to the next page.