Kyle Lar­son charges through field to cap­ture El­dora win

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By CHRIS KNIGHT

NASCAR Wire Ser­vice

— Bat­tling back from all kinds of ad­ver­sity, Kyle Lar­son sailed away on a late race restart with 16 laps to go to win Wed­nes­day night’s fourth an­nual Aspen Den­tal El­dora Dirt Derby 150 at El­dora Speedway.

“It means a lot, es­pe­cially los­ing the way I did the two years I ran,” said Lar­son from Vic­tory Lane. “Thanks to ev­ery­one on this GMS Rac­ing team, DC So­lar for com­ing on-board for this, this is very spe­cial for them. I knew run­ning a blue No. 24 I had to run hard here at El­dora. Rico (Abreu) does a re­ally good job in a sprint car with that. I had to put on a show.

“We got the flat tire there early, I knew we would get a lucky dog, I just didn’t know if I could get back to the top-three as quick as I did. It just worked out where I got by (Christo­pher) Bell when he got in the wall and I think Bobby (Pierce) had a gear is­sue. He was def­i­nitely better than I was for sure.

The win though.

Lar­son took the lead from last year’s run­ner-up Bobby Pierce fol­low­ing the sec­ond cau­tion on Lap 35 and ap­peared to be in con­trol of the event, but while lead­ing, Lar­son spun in Turn 4 on Lap 52 to bring out the fourth cau­tion of the night.

Adding fuel to his fire, Lar­son was docked one lap by NASCAR for in­ten­tion­ally caus­ing the yel­low after spin­ning and stop­ping on

ROSSBURG, OHIO

didn’t come easy the race track.

Two cau­tions later, how­ever, Lar­son found him­self back on the lead lap cour­tesy of the free pass and his mission to rally from the back to the front be­gan.

Chas­ing down Pierce for the race lead, Lar­son took ad­van­tage of Pierce’s trans­mis­sion be­ing stuck in fourth gear to take the lead with 30 laps to go, Pierce at­tempted to take the lead back three laps later, but slammed the out­side Turn 4 wall, end­ing his night and bring­ing out the fi­nal cau­tion of the event.

De­spite a late race charge from Bell on the restart, Lar­son pulled away as the laps dwin­dled away and earned a 0.767-sec­ond ad­van- tage to win his sec­ond NCWTS race in his 12th start.

“I guess I didn’t re­ally hold him (Pierce) off, he slid in there and hit the wall and got a flat I think,” Lar­son said. “I hated that I couldn’t race with him, but I was happy when he was out. I al­most gave it away again after that restart. I went to the mid­dle of three and four in third gear and I missed a shift off Turn 4 and Bell got into my back bumper. Thank­fully, he wasn’t inside of me, be­cause he would have got the lead there and prob­a­bly would be stand­ing where I am.”

Bell, last year’s win­ner, was dis­ap­pointed with sec­ond but knew he gained cru­cial points to­wards his cham­pi­onship chase.

“Tony (Ste­wart, track owner) did an awe­some job with the race track tonight,” said Bell. “It was re­ally tech­ni­cal, it was re­ally tough to get around and it was re­ally fun, too. Kyle’s been try­ing to win this race for a long time and it was cool for him to win tonight. The guys at KBM (Kyle Busch Mo­tor­sports) worked re­ally hard to put me in this po­si­tion. I was dis­ap­pointed we couldn’t re­peat.”

Pierce who led a com­mand­ing 102 laps fin­ished 25th in likely his fi­nal truck race of the sea­son.

“The car­bu­re­tor was flooded and I couldn’t get off the cor­ner at all. Lar­son drove a great race,” Pierce said. “When that hap­pened on the restart, I caught him a lit­tle bit, he hit the wall and I tried to slide him. I went in there a lit­tle too hard, it was su­per-slick and I got the wall and knocked the right-rear off the rim and that was that.”

Notes: The event was halted for seven min­utes, 29 sec­onds for a nine truck ac­ci­dent in Turn 3 on Lap 38. ... The NASCAR Camp­ing World Truck Se­ries re­turns to com­pe­ti­tion at Po­cono (Pa.) Race­way on July 30 for the run­ning of the Po­cono Moun­tains 150. Kyle Busch is the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR

Kyle Lar­son cel­e­brates after win­ning the NASCAR Camp­ing World Se­ries 4th An­nual Aspen Den­tal El­dora Dirt Derby 150, at El­dora Speedway on Wed­nes­day in Rossburg, Ohio.

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