STOCKTON, Calif. — Not too bad for a part-timer.
After hitching a ride in NASCAR star Tony Stewart’s plane, Kyle Larson picked up his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season on Friday in front of a sold-out crowd during the inaugural event at Stockton 99 Dirt Track.
“I’ve got to start off by thanking Tony for letting my fly on his jet here to the races,” he said. “Without him, I wouldn’t be here.”
The win was Larson’s third in as many seasons as he heads back to Fontana, Calif., for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Southern California.
With estimates of more than 10,000 spectators at Friday’s World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event, a pair of California stars duked it out after outlasting the attrition. There were nearly a dozen flips on the new three-eighths-mile track that was built inside the old horse racing track at the San Joaquin Fairgrounds.
Paul McMahan, who became the ninth different dash winner in as many features this season, led the first two laps of the 30-lap feature before Larson found the lead by winning the drag race into turn one.
Kaeding drove around Larson exiting turn two on a restart on lap 10 — the third straight attempt after Willie Croft and Jonathan Allard both flipped during previous tries — to capture the lead. The duo entered traffic on lap 16 before a caution two laps later for a spin by Jason Statler.