SARVER, Pa. – Kyle Larson dominated Lernerville Speedway en route to a $25,000 payday, winning the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup against a stacked World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series field.
Larson started fourth, worked his way by Ian Madsen on lap nine and never looked back to win his first World of Outlaws feature of the year and the sixth of his career. He also set fast time over the 37-car field and won his heat race.
Brad Sweet finished second after a late-race charge, while Donny Schatz came from ninth to complete the podium.
Western Pennsylvania’s own Tim Shaffer won the Sears Craftsman Dash to earn the pole for the 40-lap feature.
Shaffer, the 1993 Lernerville track champion and a two-time Silver Cup winner, led the opening four laps before Brandon Spithaler spun off the track, bringing out the only caution of the event.
World of Outlaws rookie Ian Madsen took advantage of the double-file restart to take the lead from Shaffer down the backstretch. Madsen led lap five and Larson took second from Shaffer a lap later.
Larson slid Madsen for the lead on the eighth round, but the Australian turned back underneath Larson’s No. 57 to lead into turn three. It was short-lived, however, as Larson pounded the cushion and blasted around Madsen to lead for good on lap nine.
The Elk Grove, Calif., native then established he was the class of the field, quickly building up a lead as the field stretched out around the four-tenths-mile oval.
Sweet, fresh off his runner-up finish at the Kings Royal, began making the top work late in the going. He moved by Shaffer for third on lap 26 and then used the same line to move by Madsen for second a lap later.
Simultaneously, Schatz began making the bottom work, moving into third with 10 to go.
As Larson diced through heavy traffic, Sweet began to close in on Larson as the large crowd at Lernerville Speedway watched closely to see if the driver referred to as ‘The Big Cat’ could make a move.
However, Larson was flawless through traffic, re-extending his lead and going on to win by 1.893 seconds over his brother-in-law.
“I was able to get through traffic pretty well,” noted Larson in victory lane. “There was a strip of moisture in turns three and four. I was trying to check the board because I knew if [Schatz] was coming, I was going to have to do some searching.”
Larson was making his first start at Lernerville in five years, after coming from 24th to second in the 2013 Silver Cup.
“I didn’t think we were that great in the dash, but Paul Silva was able to tune it up and I knew right away in the feature that I had a good shot of winning this one,” said Larson. “These Outlaw races are so hard to win. I was able to get an Outlaw win for Ricky [Stenhouse Jr.] last year, but it has been a couple years since I got an Outlaw win in the No. 57.”
“It’s great to see a packed house. I was only able to get here five minutes before engine heat because of plane troubles, but I’m glad we made it,” stressed Larson. “We couldn’t be out here without all you fans,”
Sweet settled for second and referenced how similar Tuesday night was to Saturday’s Kings Royal, where he was trying to chase down Schatz on the cushion.
“You know [Larson] is going to be tough to beat out front, and I wasn’t making as much speed once the top in turns one and two went away,” Sweet pointed out. “I kind of saw Donny coming at the end so I moved down on the race track to defend second.”
“The past few races, the tracks have been slick and technical with a lot of green flag laps … it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been right in the hunt throughout this Month of Money and hopefully we can pick up some more wins here soon.”
Schatz had won three of the last four races prior to Tuesday, but could do no better than third on this night.
David Gravel came from 10th to finish fourth and Ian Madsen faded to fifth.
Kasey Kahne made a last-lap pass in the Last Chance Showdown to make the feature and earned the KSE Hard Charger Award by coming up to 17th at the checkered flag.
To see full results, turn to the next page.