» Lar­son lights up July 4th at Grand­view

Mon­ster En­ergy Cup points leader comes to Pa. and snags 3rd Speed­week win

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS - For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

On a Fourth of July cel­e­bra­tion of speed, Kyle Lar­son wowed a jam-packed NAPA Auto Parts Thun­der on the Hill Rac­ing Se­ries crowd and claimed his third straight Penn­syl­va­nia 410 Sprint Car Speed­week vic­tory, while Duane Howard scored the win in the NASCAR Modified 30-lap event at the Grand­view Speed­way on Tues­day Night in an event pre­sented by Pioneer Pole Build­ings.

Lar­son may have taken the check­ered flag, but the re­gion’s top Sprint Car aces — dubbed the Penn­syl­va­nia Posse — didn’t take it easy on the cur­rent NASCAR Cup Se­ries point leader.

“I felt like I was play­ing de­fense all night, tonight,” Lar­son said in Vic­tory Lane. “Ryan Smith had a great car. I def­i­nitely got a lit­tle lucky.”

Ryan Taylor and Greg Hod­nett led the field to the drop of the fire­works filled 410 Sprint Car A-Main. On the ini­tial start, Lar­son — who started in the third po­si­tion — shot in­side Taylor in a three-wide bat­tle for the lead. Hod­nett and Lar­son en­gaged in an ex­pert duel for the top spot, un­til con­tact be­tween the two sent Hod­nett’s No. 27 ma­chine spin­ning to­wards the out­side guardrail.

Lar­son set a rapid pace on the restart, with TJ Stutts chal­leng­ing for the lead. A lap 8 cau­tion stacked the field, and a three-wide bat­tle for the sec­ond spot en­sued with Stutts hold­ing off Taylor and Rico Abreu. It would be Abreu and Stutts with the short straw af­ter con­tact be­tween the two left both cars spin­ning.

Main­tain­ing the lead through con­sec­u­tive yel­lows, Lar­son pulled away from the pack at Lap 11 with Taylor bat­tling Ryan Smith for sec­ond place. The red flag flew for the first time on the 12th cir­cuit when, three-time Thun­der on the Hill win­ner, Tyler Walker got up­side down in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion, col­lect­ing Brandon Rah­mer in the process.

While Lar­son held a com­fort­able lead on the restart, Ryan Smith be­gan clos­ing in — look­ing to end Lar­son’s five-race Sprint Car

win streak.

A full-house of race fans leaped to their feet when Smith mus­cled around Lar­son ex­it­ing turn 2, car­ry­ing that mo­men­tum into turn 3 be­fore clip­ping the wall, send­ing The Warko Group No. 94 of Smith flip­ping wildly into the third turn. A de­jected — but un­scathed — Smith ex­ited the car to a stand­ing ova­tion from race fans.

In­au­gu­ral Thun­der Cup win­ner Danny Di­et­rich would restart in the sec­ond po­si­tion — but Lar­son was too quick for ‘Dou­ble D’. Aside from the leader, Di­et­rich had his hands full with third-place run­ner Fred­die Rah­mer who ma­neu­vered his way into the sec­ond spot with five laps re­main­ing.

Lar­son held the lead for the re­main­ing five cir­cuits claim­ing his third con­sec­u­tive Penn­syl­va­nia Speed­week win — and his first NAPA Auto Parts Thun­der on the Hill Rac­ing Se­ries vic­tory. Fred­die Rah­mer fin­ished in sec­ond — from an 18th-place start­ing po­si­tion, Danny Di­et­rich in third, Ryan Taylor in fourth and Alan Krimes fifth.

Oley’s Duane Howard claimed his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive NAPA Auto Parts Thun­der on the Hill Rac­ing Se­ries win steer­ing the Norm’s Save Sta­tion No. 357 ma­chine. Howard — who started in the fourth po­si­tion — pow­ered around the out­side of Craig VonDohren on the 15th lap and went un­chal­lenged through­out the re­main­der of the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified fea­ture event.

Von Dohren brought the Dick Biever-owned No. 14s home in the sec­ond po­si­tion, Ryan Godown of Rin­goes, N.J., fin­ished in third from a 12th-place start­ing po­si­tion, pop­u­lar N.Y. Modified driver An­thony Per­rego fin­ished in the fourth spot, and Mike Gu­lar rounded out the top five.

The next NAPA Auto Parts Thun­der on the Hill Rac­ing Se­ries event at Grand­view Speed­way takes place on Thurs­day, Au­gust 17. The 3rd An­nual Thun­der Cup event fea­tures the Arc­tic All Star Cir­cuit of Cham­pi­ons — with 3-time NASCAR Cup Se­ries Cham­pion, Tony Ste­wart and pop­u­lar dirt-track driver, Rico Abreu com­pet­ing in ac­tion.

NAPA Auto Parts con­tin­ues their long run with the Thun­der on the Hill Rac­ing Se­ries as the ti­tle spon­sor joined by Pioneer Pole Build­ings, Le­van Ma­chine and Truck Equip­ment and GALCO Busi­ness Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. NOTES » 25 410 Sprint Cars and 43 Mod­i­fieds were signed in for Thun­der on the Hill Ac­tion.

NASCAR driv­ers Kyle Lar­son and Kasey Kahne greeted fans and signed au­to­graphs through­out the evening while com­pet­ing in the 410 Sprint Car divi­sion.

TJ Stutts won the Sprint­carUn­lim­ited.com Quick Time Bonus worth $250.

410 SPRINT CARS

Time Tri­als — 1. TJ Stutts — 11.812 2. Danny Di­et­rich — 11.822 3. Kyle Lar­son — 11.824 4. Rico Abreu — 11.841 5. Dale Blaney — 11.864 6. Ryan Taylor — 11.867 7. Ryan Smith — 11.886 8. Greg Hod­nett — 11.893 9. Alan Krimes — 11.927 10. Tyler Walker — 11. 941 11. Lu­cas Wolfe — 11.947 12. James McFad­den — 11.966 13. Jor­dyn Bra­zier — 11.967 14. Davey Sam­mons — 11. 977 15. Fred­die Rah­mer — 11.988 16. Kasey Kahne — 12.017 17. JJ Grasso — 12.030 18. Kyle Rein­hardt — 12.052 19. Brandon Rah­mer — 12.095 20. Ger­ard McIn­tyre Jr. — 12.153 21. Brock Zear­foss — 12.154 22. Sean Ze­mu­nik 23. Jared Esh — 12.282 24. Mitchell Wor­mall — 12.316 25. Ge­orge Streaker Jr. — 13.669

Heat 1 (10 Laps) — 1. Rico Abreu 2. Ryan Smith 3. Tyler Walker 4. TJ Stutts 5. Kasey Kahne 6. Brandon Rah­mer 7. Sean Ze­mu­nik 8. Jor­dyn Bra­zier DNF: Ge­orge Streaker Jr. Heat 2 (10 Laps) — 1. Greg Hod­nett 2. Dale Blaney 3. Danny Di­et­rich 4. Lu­cas

Wolfe 5. Davey Sam­mons 6. JJ Grasso 7. Jared Esh 8. Ger­ard McIn­tyre Jr. Heat 3 (10 Laps) — 1. Ryan Taylor 2. James McFad­den 3. Kyle Lar­son 4. Alan Krimes 5. Kyle Rein­hardt 6. Fred­die Rah­mer 7. Brock Zear­foss 8. Mitchell Wor­mall 410 A-Main (35 Laps) — 1. Kyle Lar­son 2. Fred­die Rah­mer 3. Danny Di­et­rich 4. Ryan Taylor 5. Alan Krimes 6. James McFad­den 7. JJ Grasso 8. Dale Blaney 9. Brock Zear­foss 10. Rico Abreu 11. Lu­cas Wolfe 12. Ger­ard McIn­tyre Jr. 13. Kasey Kahne 14. Mitchell Wor­mall 15. Jor­dyn Bra­zier 16. Sean Zeu­mu­nik 17. Ge­orge Streaker Jr. 18. Ryan Smith 19. Davey Sam­mons 20. Tyler Walker 21. Brandon Rah­mer 22. TJ Stutts 23. Kyle Rein­hardt 24. Greg Hod­nett 25. Jared Esh NASCAR 358 MOD­I­FIEDS Modified Heat 1 (10 Laps) — 1. Brett Kress­ley 2. Danny Bouc 3. Tim Buck­wal­ter 4. Do­minick Buf­falino 5. Kevin Hirth­ler 6. Ryan Grim 7. Ryan Beltz 8. Clay But­ler 9. Ron Har­ing Jr. 10. Jeff Strunk

Modified Heat 2 (10 Laps) — 1. Ryan Godown 2. An­thony Per­rego 3. Craig VonDohren 4. Doug Man­miller 5. Chris Es­pos­ito 6. Kyle Weiss 7. Jimmy Rep­pert 8. Heath Met­zger DNF: Steve Davis, Rick Laubach, Frank Yankowski

Modified Heat 3 (10 Laps) — 1. Ray Swine­hart 2. Duane Howard 3. Brian Hirth­ler 4. Kenny Gil­more 5. Craig Whit­moyer 6. Steve Swine­hart 7. Mike Lisowski 8. Joe Fanelli 8. Briggs Dan­ner 10. Kyle Lil­ick DNF: Bobby Trap­per

Modified Heat 4 (10 Laps) — 1. John Will­man 2. Frank Cozze 3. Billy Pauch, Jr. 4. Jared Um­ben­hauer 5. Mike Gu­lar 6. Kyle Bor­ror 7. Ryan Watt 8. Kevin Beech 9. Blaine Bracelin Consi 1 — 1. Kyle Weiss 2. Ryan Grim Consi 2 — 1. Kyle Bor­ror 2. Ryan Watt

Modified Fea­ture (30 Laps) — 1. Duane Howard 2. Craig VonDohren 3. Ryan Godown 4. An­thony Per­rego 5. Mike Gu­lar 6. Jared Um­ben­hauer 7. Brett Kress­ley 8. Kyle Weiss 9. Billy Pauch, Jr. 10. Do­minick Buf­falino 11. Tim Buck­wal­ter 12. John Will­man 13. Frank Cozze 14. Danny Bouc 15. Kyle Bor­ror 16. Ryan Grim 17. Brian Hirth­ler 18. Chris Es­pos­ito 19. Ryan Watt 20. Doug Man­miller 21. Ray Swine­hart 22. Craig Whit­moyer 23. Jeff Strunk 24. Kenny Gil­more 25. Kevin Hirth­ler.

PA Speed­week

Start­ing on June 30 at the Wil­liams Grove Speed­way, more than $275,000 was up for grabs dur­ing Pa. Speed­week.

Tak­ing the opener was the cur­rent Wil­liams Grove points leader Fred­die Rah­mer. The Sal­fordville 21-year-old picked up his third Wil­lams Grove win for the year.

Satur­day, July 1, it was ‘Dou­ble D’ Danny Di­et­rich at the Lin­coln Speed­way.

Next up was at the Fred Rah­mer-pro­moted ‘Party at the Path’ Path Val­ley Speed­way. It all started with Rico Abreu set­ting a new track record of 9.693 on the 3/8 mile track. Bring­ing home the win was NASCAR Mon­ster En­ergy Cup points leader, Kyle Lar­son, out of Elk Grove, Calif.

Lar­son con­tin­ued his win­ning ways with a win at Lin­coln Speed­way on July 3, be­fore his win at Grand­view on In­de­pen­dence Day.

On Thurs­day, July 5, rac­ing was at the Hager­stown, Md., ½ mile and Lance Dewease was the win­ner in the Don­nie Kre­itz No. 69, end­ing Lar­son’s streak.

Thurs­day, July 6, was can­celled at Port Royal be­cause of the heavy rains all day.

Fri­day, July 7, they were back at the Wil­liams Grove Speed­way with Tray Starks, of Puyallup, Washington, tak­ing the win and $10,000 in the Mitch Smith Memo­rial.

Satur­day evening was at the Port Royal Speed­way and again it was Lance Dewease pick­ing up his 103rd win at that track.

Sun­day the 410s trav­eled to Sel­ings­grove for the fi­nale of Speed­weeks.

The points leader go­ing into Sel­ings­grove was Lu­cus Wolf with Fred­die Rah­mer in sec­ond. The points win­ner will re­ceive a ex­tra $5,000 for the ef­fort. This com­ing week the top 410 driv­ers will be head­ing to Ross­burg, Ohio for the run­ning of the El­dora Kings Royal and the $50,000 top prize.

DOUG ROTHERMEL - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Kyle Lar­son, cen­ter, cel­e­brates in vic­tory lane with pro­moter Bob Miller and track owner Kenny Rogers af­ter win­ning the main event dur­ing the Thun­der on the Hill rac­ing se­ries at Grand­view Speed­way on July 4 as part of Penn­syl­va­nia Speed­week.

DOUG ROTHERMEL - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Kyle Lar­son cel­e­brates atop his No. 57 sprint car af­ter win­ning the modified main event dur­ing Thun­der on the Hill rac­ing se­ries ac­tion at Grand­view Speed­way on July 4.

DOUG ROTHERMEL - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

NASCAR Mon­ster En­ergy Cup driver Kasey Kahne pre­pares to race at Grand­view Speed­way on July 4 in the Thun­der on the Hill se­ries.

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