From Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – June 8, 2010…Continuing his assault on the 2010 Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series title Elk Grove, California’s Kyle Larson put together another consistent outing this past Saturday night by racing to a third place finish in an entertaining 30-lap main event at the Placerville Speedway.
For Larson it marked the seventh time he has finished on the podium in the first 13-races of the GSC season and allowed him to maintain his current third place ranking in the series standings going into the inaugural running of Western Speedweek, which kicks off this coming Friday. The main event at Placerville saw a tremendous duel between winner Tim Kaeding and runner up Jonathan Allard, with Larson crossing the stripe just behind the duo.
“That was a pretty good race between Tim and Jonathan for the lead and a couple times I was thinking I might have had a chance to get the lead as hard as they were going at it,” said the driver of the Stadelhofer Construction/Peppermill Casino-Reno No. 99 sprinter. “It’s been a lot of fun out here this year and it’s even better having Tim back in California, because I think he really makes us all step it up just a little bit and the racing has benefited from it.”
Larson opened this most recent weekend by pulling double-duty at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway on Friday night, competing with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo, as well as running a Micro 600 for car owner Gordon Seros.
In the Ocean Sprints portion of the evening the 17-year-old throttle-masher timed-in eighth fastest in qualifying out of 25-cars, before driving to victory in his heat race to transfer into the feature, where he lined up from the outside of the fourth row. One of the best prepared track surfaces all season at the quarter-mile bullring was seen and it made for some great racing in the main event, as Larson methodically worked his way to the front making some great moves through traffic.
With just over 10-circuits remaining the Elk Grove racer made his way into fourth and then continued his march through the pack to get by Cory Eliason for third on lap-20. Following this he would close in on leaders Tommy Tarlton and Peter Murphy, but just as soon as he looked to make something happen, disaster struck in the first corner when he quickly approached a slower car and was forced to take evasive action, which resulted in him spinning to a stop to bring out a yellow. Larson was able to restart and eventually tallied a 14th place finish at the checkered flag.
Prior to the sprint car main event Larson had a strong run in the Micro 600 class by winning the trophy dash and then taking the lead after a handful of laps in the main event to easily win the non-stop 20-lap affair. The youngster also impressively set a new all-time 20-lap track record for the division with his winning time being 4 minutes, 36 seconds. “It was fun running the micro and I have to thank Gordon for giving me the chance to do so,” said Larson. “Setting a track record like that in the main event is pretty cool and I was happy to get a win for those guys.”
Following the night’s action in Watsonville Larson then made the short trip up Highway 50 to the Placerville Speedway on Saturday for the 13th round of competition with the Golden State Challenge Series. The youngster proceeded to qualify fifth fastest in the field, claim third in his heat race and then fifth in the dash to place the Kaeding Performance/Shaver Engines powered No. 99 Maxim in the third row for the main event. When starter Ed Entz waved the green flag in the 30-lap affair Larson settled into fifth on the very racy high-banked quarter-mile.
Things would come to a slow down after a couple laps however, when the red lights flashed on for Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson, who had gotten over the cushion and flipped in turns three and four. During the stoppage leader Evan Suggs suffered oil gauge issues that forced him to the pits and bumped Larson up to fourth. On the restart Larson then charged around Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan to claim the third spot, where he would run comfortably with the race playing on, as he shadowed leaders Tim Kaeding and Jonathan Allard. With the two front runners battling it out Larson ran his own race and caught up to Allard’s bumper with a couple circuits left, but couldn’t get an opening and settled for a solid third at the conclusion.
Larson and the Stadelhofer Construction/Peppermill-Resort-Spa-Casino-Reno No. 99 team will now get set for a big stretch of racing beginning with this Friday night’s Tribute to Gary Patterson at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, which opens the inaugural running of “Western Speedweek- The Road to Dirt Cup.” The defending Golden State Challenge Series Rookie of the Year has made one start at the Silver Dollar bullring this year, with that netting him a runner up finish behind ASCS National champ Shane Stewart at the prestigious Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial in May.
On Saturday Larson and the rest of the GSC teams will then travel to the Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Oregon, before heading to events at the Cottage Grove Speedway on Monday June 14 and the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon Tuesday on June 15. The four GSC point-paying shows of Western Speedweek are all a lead up to the non-sanctioned, 39th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at the Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington on June 17, 18 and 19. The huge event will award $25,000 to the winner of Saturday night’s 40-lap main event.
“We’re really excited for the Western Speedweek and can’t wait to hit the track,” commented Larson. “Right now we’re third in the Golden State Challenge points and this will be big stretch to try and make up some ground on Brent Kaeding and Jonathan Allard. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to Skagit as well after running there for the first time last year. The Dirt Cup is always one of the biggest races out here and should have a strong field, but my guys have been giving me a great car every week, so I have a lot of confidence going into it this year and hopefully we can put ourselves in position to bring home that 25 grand.”
Larson’s racing efforts are sponsored by Stadelhofer Construction, The Peppermill ~ Resort ~ Spa ~ Casino ~ Reno, Kaeding Performance, Safety Solutions, Simpson Race Products, JW Web Design and All Star Performance.
For more information and news on 17-year-old racer Kyle Larson please visit http://www.kylelarsonracing.com
Race: June 4 & 5, 2010