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Former NASCAR standout Kyle Larson drives to All Star triumph at Williams Grove Speedway

STAFF REPORT
Kyle Larson

Former NASCAR standout Kyle Larson won his second race in three starts on Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway, winning the All Stars Circuit of Champions Tommy Hinnershitz Classic in thrilling fashion to take home a $5,000 payday. 

Two weeks ago, Larson pocketed his first career Grove win by taking the $15,000 Mitch Smith Memorial and with the popular win in the Tommy Classic, Larson has now stamped his mark on two of the oval’s biggest, most historical sprint car events.

Elsewhere, Kevin Nouse rode home the winner in the 20-lap 358 sprint main, wiring the field from the pole for this second oval win of the season as well.

Larson was originally slated to go off sixth in the 30-lap All Stars Tommy Classic field but when Sammy Swindell spewed the contents of his oil tank all around the speedway during the parade lap, the field was stopped, Swindell was sidelined and Larson advanced to fifth for the initial green flag.

Polesitter Anthony Macri, who was trying to get his first oval 410 sprint win ever, blasted into the lead when action got started over Kerry Madsen, Carson Macedo, Daryn Pittman and Larson.

Macri entered the rear of the field on the eighth lap with a two second lead over Madsen but then used up all of that advantage on lap 10 when he jumped the first turn cushion and all but spun the car, allowing his pursuers to close up all the daylight that he had built over them. 

By lap 13, it was all that Macri could handle to keep Madsen at bay with Macedo and Pittman in hot pursuit but then the leader got a reprieve at the halfway point when Josh Baughman rolled to a stop, bringing out the races only caution flag.

And just prior to that yellow, Larson had come to life by blasting under Macedo for fourth and Pittman for third in the second turn only to see the yellow negate the move. 

On the restart Madesen kept pace with the leader again and on lap 19 he was able to get alongside Macri for the lead in turns three and four only to see Macri bring the field back to the stripe. 

And by that time, Larson was cooking on the topside, up to third and gaining on the front-runners.

It was with an amazing closing rate at the end of the backstretch that Larson did his best dirty work, making up dramatic ground on Madsen for second to take the spot with eight laps to go. 

At that point, Macri was again working traffic and Larson was forced to work the field as well all the while fighting a tightening race car as he tried to work the high cushion in turns three and four. 

Twice Larson jumped the lip in turn four but gathered up his errant machine to continue the track down, which finally came to an end with another amazing, accordion-style blast into the third turn with three laps to go that netted him the point and the feature win.

From there, the Elk Grove, California native went on to post the victory by 1.338 seconds over Macri. 

“I could carry a lot of speed down the straightaways,” Larson said. 

“It was getting super tight on the cushion in four and I kept messing up,” he said of his late race cushion jumps that he eventually overcame. 

Madsen rode home third followed by David Gravel and Pittman.

Sixth through 10th went to Brock Zearfoss, 17th starter Danny Dietrich, Macedo, Aaron Reutzel and Freddie Rahmer.

Heats went to Brent Marks, Jason Solwold, Reutzel and Macedo with twin dashes going to Macri and Madsen.

Lucas Wolfe won the B Main.

Fast time was set by Larson with a lap of 16.950 seconds.

Nouse led all the way in the 358 sprint main with Doug Hammaker finishing a close second after a lap 19 restart bunched the field.

Chris Frank, Derek Locke and Tyler Brehm completed the top five finishers.

Heats went to Steve Owings, Locke, and Hammaker with Cody Fletcher taking the consolation race. 

Feature Finishes, 7/17/20

410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. 1. 57-Kyle Larson [5]; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri [1]; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen [2]; 4. 41-David Gravel [7]; 5. 83-Daryn Pittman [4]; 6. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [11]; 7. 48-Danny Dietrich [16]; 8. 2-Carson Macedo [3]; 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel [9]; 10. 51-Freddie Rahmer [12]; 11. 5-Brent Marks [8]; 12. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 13. 17H-Sheldon Haudenschild [21]; 14. 91-Kyle Reinhardt [10]; 15. 11T-TJ Stutts [15]; 16. 13-Paul McMahan [19]; 17. 21-Brian Montieth [14]; 18. 14-Parker Price-Miller [17]; 19. 24-Lucas Wolfe [20]; 20. 39-Jason Solwold [18]; 21. 1X-Chad Trout [13]; 22. 1W-Matt Campbell [25]; 23. 11-Zeb Wise [22]; 24. 99-Skylar Gee [24]; 25. 17-Josh Baughman [26]; 26. 3-Jac Haudenschild [23]; 27. 39S-Sammy Swindell [27]

DNQ:  27S-Adrian Shaffer 19M-Landon Myers O7-Gerard McIntyre 73B-Brett Michalski  2C-Wayne Johnson

12-Brent Shearer  12W-Troy Fraker  W20-Greg Wilson  35-Zach Hampton  72-Ryan Smith  55K-Robbie Kendall 35S-Jason Shultz

358 sprints, 20 laps: 1. Kevin Nouse, 2. Doug Hammaker, 3. Chris Frank, 4. Derek Locke, 5. Tyler Breahm, 6. Scott Fisher, 7. Steve Owings, 8. Matt Findley, 9. Zach Newlin, 10. Chad Criswell, 11. Dylan Norris, 12. Brett Wanner, 13. Jordan Givler, 14. Cody Fletcher, 15. Rich Eichelberger, 16. Nat Tuckey, 17. Justin Foster, 18. Russell Hammaker, 19. Ashley Capetta, 20. Jeff Rohrbaugh, 21. Jay Krout, 22. Mason Chaney, 23. Chris Arnold, 24. Mark Van Vorst

DNQ: Scott Flammer, Billy Heltzel, Dylan Orwig, Kody Hartlaub, Brett Rose, Tyler Templin

Information for this story was provided by Williams Grove Speedway.