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HOUSEHOLDER: Kyle Larson continues historic dirt-track season at central Pa. speedways

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Kyle Larson is shown here after his Lincoln Speedway victory last Wednesday.
  • Kyle Larson earned three 410 sprint wins in central Pennsylvania last week.
  • Larson pocketed more than $30,000 for those victories.
  • Larson leads the nation with 30 victories in 410 sprint cars in 2020.
  • Larson has 39 overall victories this season.

Kyle Larson made another visit to central Pennsylvania last week, and he again walked away with most of the big loot, pocketing more than $30,000.

That has been the case everywhere the former NASCAR standout has gone during his historic 2020 season. In fact, Larson’s three local 410 sprint wins last week (two at Lincoln Speedway and one at BAPS Motor Speedway) pushed his season win total to a staggering 39.

The impressive part of that win total is that Larson has done it with several different types of race cars for several different car owners. And he’s done it against the best in the business.

Larson has now won 10 World of Outlaws 410 sprint features this year, 14 All Star 410 sprint races this year and numerous other 410 sprint events, including the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek point title. Ten of his 410 sprint wins have come in this area. He leads the nation with 30 410 sprint triumphs.

Amazingly, despite limited local appearances, Larson is sixth in the Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Series. His 10 410 sprint wins are second in the area, trailing only Danny Dietrich, who has 11.

Kyle Larson

Not just excelling in sprint cars: Larson has not excelled in just the sprint cars. A few weeks ago, Larson came to Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County for the Lucas Oil Late Model Series races. That event marked the first time Larson had ever driven a dirt late model. He notched a top-five finish his first night and backed it up with his first late-model win in the main event that Saturday. The Lucas Oil series is perhaps the nation’s premier dirt late-model series.

Larson has also done well with the midget cars this season, starting with the famed Chili Bowl in Oklahoma and including the United States Auto Club Midget Speedweek, he has notched several of his wins this season in those cars.

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Last week, Larson won Wednesday’s Weldon Sterner Memorial Race at Lincoln in Adams County, Thursday’s Kevin Gobrecht Memorial race at BAPS in northern York County and Saturday’s Dirt Classic at Lincoln. His worst finish of the weekend was a third in Friday’s Jack Gunn Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County.

DIRT-TRACK RACING: Former NASCAR star Kyle Larson drives away with three central Pa. wins

Locally, Larson has won three sprint features and a late-model feature at Port Royal this year, and twice each with the sprints at Williams Grove and Lincoln. Single local sprint wins have come at BAPS, Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland and Grandview Speedway in Berks County.

At his current pace, even with a long shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, Larson is on a pace to match some of the biggest season win totals ever in short-track racing. Seasons that come to mind are Doug Wolfgang’s 50-plus-win seasons, Ray Tilley’s two consecutive seasons of more than 40 wins, the Kenny Weld /Jan Opperman seasons of 40 or more wins each and Johnny Mackison’s 40-plus-win season.

This week: The 410 sprint cars have two big events this weekend on the local circuit.

Friday at Williams Grove is the final tune-up for the National Open. The Outlaw Tune-Up will be run using the World of Outlaws handicapping format. The 358 sprints also race at the Grove Friday.

Saturday, Selinsgrove Speedway in Snyder County offers up its Jimmy Nace Memorial National Open, with $20,000 on the line for the winner. Last year, Port Royal Speedway champion Logan Wagner scored the big win in this race. The 305 sprints also race at Selinsgrove on Saturday.

Lincoln offers up something different this weekend with the INEX Legends Car Nationals on the slate. The event features drivers of the small-specification racers from across the nation. Thursday evening will be an open practice session for the Legends and any other race divisions that wish to take part.

Friday evening, it’s qualifying events for the Legends cars (expected to be close to 100 strong) plus a full program for the 305 sprints.

Saturday, the Legends compete in last-chance races and their A mains. It's expected that there will be four different classes of Legends racers on hand. The 358 sprints also have a full program at Lincoln Saturday.

BAPS is racing Saturday as well with the Dirty 30 for the super-sportsman cars. Also on the BAPS program are the limited-late models, street stocks and extreme stocks.

The weekend wraps up Sunday evening with the twice-rescheduled Frank Sagi Tribute Race at Hagerstown. The race features the super-late models and the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds.

The race honors the memory of Frank Sagi, who was the voice of Hagerstown for nearly 40 years. Sagi also graced the microphone at numerous other tracks up and down the Eastern seaboard at times during his career. His son, Alan, a noted stock-car racer, puts things together every year and also honors drivers who made their mark at Hagerstown over the years.

This year, late-model stars from the past who will be recognized are Denny Bonebrake, Larry Gorman and Sam Nalley. Bonebrake and Gorman are both Hagerstown natives, while Nalley is from Brunswick, Maryland.

Bonebrake won 212 times during his career, while Nalley has 89 career late-model wins and Gorman has 52. Bonebrake’s father owned championship cars long before Denny started racing, and his son, Wesley, is still a winner in the limited ranks with several wins this season. Nalley’s father was a Hagerstown champion in the modified stock cars that preceded the sprint cars on the local circuit.

Alan Sagi, himself, is still a winning racer on the limited-late-model circuit, with wins this season at BAPS and Lincoln.

Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

CHAMPION RACING OIL

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

SPRINT CAR SERIES

Presented by Hoseheads.com

(Wins in parenthesis)

1. Danny Dietrich (11)              1,141

2. Anthony Macri (7)                 1,027

3. Freddie Rahmer (6)               945

4. Brent Marks (3)                      906

5. Lance Dewease (6)               789

6. Kyle Larson (10)                    765

7. Dylan Cisney (2)                   489

8. Brock Zearfoss                      472

9. Logan Wagner (1)                 434

10. Brian Montieth (1)               403