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Former NASCAR star earns another Pa. Sprint Car Speedweek win, closes in on overall title

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Kyle Larson
  • Kyle Larson won a 410 sprint race Thursday night at Hagerstown Speedway.
  • It was the seventh race in the 2020 Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek series.
  • There are two Speedweek races remaining at Williams Grove and Port Royal.
  • Larson, a former NASCAR standout, leads the overall Speedweek points standings.

Former NASCAR standout Kyle Larson is just two races away from becoming the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek champion.

The California driver Larson picked up his second 2020 Speedweek victory on Thursday night when the nine-races-in-nine-days series moved south of the border to Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland for the Johnny Grum Memorial.

Larson earned $5,000 for his dominating 30-lap victory in the 410 sprint event and leads the overall Speedweek standings at 1,089 points with two races remaining on the Speedweek schedule. Danny Dietrich is second at 979 points, followed by Freddie Rahmer at 899, Ryan Smith at 873, Rico Abreu at 777, Brent Marks at 775, Brock Zearfoss at 754, Dillsburg's Anthony Macri at 725, Sammy Swindell at 640 and Lance Dewease at 588.

In the seven Speedweek races held thus far, Larson and Dietrich each have two Speedweek wins, while Abreu, Dewease and Macri have one each.

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In Thursday's feature at Hagerstown, Marks finished second, followed by Swindell, Abreu and Rahmer, The top 10 was rounded out by Macri, Smith, Dietrich, York's Chase Dietz and Mike Wagner. Dietz won the Hard Charger award.

“My car was really good … I could go mostly wherever I wanted to and that helps, especially racing in lapped traffic”, said Larson on the Hagerstown Speedway website. “I felt like I lapped a lot of people, so I wanted it to stay green."

York County driver earns Pa. Speedweek win for fourth consecutive victory at Port Royal

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.

There were 32 teams pitside on a very warm July evening for the fourth running of the event to honor Grum, the 1966 and 1969 super modified/sprint car champion.

Out of those 32 cars, Larson was the quickest, turning a lap of 15.593 seconds around the Hub City half-mile oval. Larson just missed the weight-limit era record of 15.580 seconds set by T.J. Stutts in 2017. The overall record is still held by Mark Kinser with a 14.945 lap time that has stood since 1999.

Heat winners were Kyle Reinhardt, Marks, Smith and Swindell. New Freedom's Robbie Kendall was the B-Main winner.

Speedweek now moves moves to Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County on Friday for the Mitch Smith Memorial. The Grove event is the highest-paying event of Speedweek, offering $15,000 to the winner.

Speedweek finishes up Saturday night at Port Royal for a $10,027-to-win Greg Hodnett Tribute event. After the Port event in Juniata County on Saturday, the 2020 Speedweek champion will be crowned.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.