By T.J. Buffenbarger
MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 3, 2020) — Kyle Larson etched his name in the history books as a winner at the legendary Williams Grove Speedway Friday after winning the Mitch Smith Memorial during Pennsylvania Speedweek. Larson took the lead from Brent Marks with an aggressive move into turn one and held off Lance Dewease for the victory.
Afterwards Larson described the wild pass for the lead with contact between himself and Marks.
“There was definitely contact on my part. I wasn’t expecting (Marks) to go to the bottom. I thought he had been running the top and had lapped the guy on the bottom. I got a good run off of four and I thought I had a far enough gap in front of me to go back up to the top, so I was committed to slide him. He shut it down and I thought we were going to crash. I hate that I got into him, but I’m glad he didn’t crash.”
The win was Larson’s third victory during Pennsylvania Speedweek and 17th of the 2020 calendar year. This was not only Larson’s first trip to victory lane at Williams Grove, but the first for his car owner Paul Silva.
“It’s cool to get both of our first wins here at Williams Grove. This is one of the most historic racetracks in the world. To put my name on the winners list and see the 69K finish behind me for my first win is pretty special.”
Dewease led the firs three circuits of the main event before Marks took the lead going into turn three. One lap later Larson worked his way to third after dropping back at the start and began to run down Dewease for second. As the leaders worked into slower traffic Brian Montieth made for a four car race for the lead.
Larson continued to house Dewease for second and found an opening to do so on lap 14.
“I had a really good car, I just had a bad start and fell back to fifth. I was able to get up to third quickly and felt like I was better than Lance (Dewease), I just needed to get the opportunity to get to his inside and thankfully that opportunity came there. We caught traffic and I could see him searching the middle there and was able to get a good enough run off of exit to slide him.”
Larson then caught Marks for the lead. After driving to the bottom in turn four Larson got a run under Marks going into turn one. Larson and Marks made hard contact, sending Marks up the track. Somehow neither driver crashed with Larson taking the lead.
Late in the race Dewease started to pick up speed and drove by Marks for second on the final lap, but ran out of time to catch Larson. Dewease held on for the runner up spot with Marks, Rico Abreu, and Freddie Rahmer rounding out the top five.