NASCAR star Kyle Larson sprints to $6,000 All Star triumph at Williams Grove

STAFF REPORT
Kyle Larson

NASCAR star Kyle Larson made his first 410 sprint start of the year and wiped up the field at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night for a $6,000 payday in the All Star Tommy Hinnershitz Classic.

It was his second win in a row in one of the track’s marquee events for the big sprint cars after also scoring the race victory last season.

“It’s cool to get a win our first night out,” Larson said after trouncing Lance Dewease in the 30-lap contest. Dewease was trying to get his elusive 100th career speedway victory at the Cumberland County track.

Larson recently scored a huge win in dirt late-model action in Bristol, Tennessee, and prior to that he scored his first NASCAR Cup Series win of the season while wheeling for Rick Hendrick. 

Friday night at the Grove, he overtook Dewease on lap 10 to drive away to a popular win aboard Paul Silva’s No. 57 in the All Star Circuit of Champions event.

“I used to hate this place," Larson said. "Once I came here with Paul, I don’t know if we’ve been outside the top three or four. Now that I’m fast, I love this place.” 

Dewease and Larson shared the front row for the start of the big event, with Dewease getting the jump on Larson at the beginning. 

The red flag then appeared with three laps down for a turned-over TJ Stutts on the backstretch. 

Larson stuck with Dewease when action resumed, not letting him get away. As the leaders came up on traffic, Larson took his first swipe at Dewease in the third and fourth corners on lap nine and quickly closed the gap on the pacesetter.

That gave Larson the run he wanted down the frontchute, and when Dewease dropped off of the cushion and set the car in low in the first turn, Larson just blew by him around the top to get the lead on lap 10.

“I could close on Lance no matter where I ran in one and two, so I knew I had a better car,” Larson said. 

And he took Dewease by surprise. 

“ I really didn’t think he was that close to me,” Dewease said.

Shortly after being scored the leader, a final caution flag unfurled and Larson simply walked off when action resumed.

He entered the rear of the field on lap 17, which allowed Dewease to close the gap somewhat, but Larson was flawless in traffic and pulled away to the finish, taking the win while going away by 2.707 seconds.

Freddie Rahmer rode home third, followed by Ian Maadsen and Anthony Macri. Sixth through 10th went to Tony Stewart, Tim Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, Tyler Courtney and Paul McMahan.

Heats went to Ian Madsen, Stewart, Kerry Madsen and Shaffer with Brent Shearer taking the B Main.

Dewease and Larson won the dashes to earn the feature front-row spots.

Dewease set fast time over the 35-car field with a lap of 16.315 seconds.

Wyatt Hinkle led the first lap of the 20-lap 358 sprint main before Tyler Breahm drove into the lead. Defending track champion Derek Locke started eighth in the field and he was already up to second behind Brehm on lap four.

Brehm drove a stout race and forced Locke to wrestle him for the lead before the Carlisle driver got around for control with eight laps to go. 

It was Locke’s fourth career oval victory. 

Brehm rode home second followed by Chris Frank, Cody Fletcher and Kyle Denmyer.

Heats went to Brett Wanner, Brehm and Denmyer. 

Information for this report was provided by Williams Grove Speedway.