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Former NASCAR standout earns Pa. Sprint Car Speedweek triumph at Grandview Speedway

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • Kyle Larson earned $10,000 for his sprint win Tuesday at Grandview Speedway.
  • The California driver now leads the Pennsylvania Speedweek point standings.
  • Freddie Rahmer finished second on Tuesday at Grandview, followed by Sammy Swindell.
Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson is feeling right at home on Pennsylvania's dirt tracks.

The California driver captured the Greg Hodnett Cup race at Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night. The event was named after former Spring Grove driver Greg Hodnett, who died in a racing accident at BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County in September of 2018.

It was the fifth race in the nine-race Red Robin Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.

Larson earned $10,000 for his Thunder-on-the-Hill triumph. That is tied for second among the first-place prizes for Speedweek, behind only the $15,000 that goes to the winner of the Mitch Smith Memorial on Friday at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County.

It was Larson's third Grandview win in four years after scoring 2017 and 2018 Speedweek wins at the Berks County facility.

Larson started the event in third position and watched as NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell led the first five laps from the pole position. Bell was unable to avoid a slowing racer on the sixth lap, making contact, and dropping from the event. He finished 24th.

That turned the lead over to Freddie Rahmer, who set the pace for most of the remaining distance in the 35-lap race. It wasn't until the 34th lap that Larson was able to make one of his bids for the lead stick.

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It was the first 2020 Speedweek win for Larson, but it was the fifth straight solid run for the former NASCAR Cup Series standout, who now leads the unofficial Speedweek point series with 762 points. Larson has two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a sixth-place finish in the other Speedweek events.

Larson began focusing on sprint racing after losing his NASCAR Cup Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing for making a racial slur during a virtual racing event. Larson has since undergone sensitivity training.

Gettysburg's Danny Dietrich is second in unofficial Speedweek points at 734, followed by Rahmer at 670, Ryan Smith at 631 and Brock Zearfoss at 544.

In Tuesday's race, Rahmer finished second, 0.877 of a second behind Larson. Sammy Swindell was third, followed by Smith and Dietrich. The top 10 was rounded out by Lance Dewease, Zearfoss, Aaron Reutzel, Dillsburg's Anthony Macri and Logan Wagner.

Rico Abreu earns $7,000 for Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek triumph at Lincoln Speedway

Rico Abreu won the B-main, but finished 23rd in the feature. Abreu was coming off a Monday win at Lincoln Speedway in Adams County. Dietrich, Zearfoss, Swindell and Smith took the heats. Bell led the time trials with a time of 11.552 seconds and a top speed of 103.774 mph.

HOUSEHOLDER: Some well-known outside visitors add interest to Pa. Sprint Car Speedweek

Wednesday, Speedweek will move to Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County. That race will offer $7,000 to the winner. The 360 sprints will also compete. 

Thus far, Dietrich owns two Speedweek wins, followed by one each for Dewease, Abreu and Larson.

Ryan Watt picked up the NASCAR 358 modified victory on Tuesday at Grandview and earned $3,000. Jeff Strunk settled for second, while Craig VonDohren, Kevin Hirthler and Doug Manmiller rounded out the top five.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.