Larson Romps In Ohio Speedweek

ATTICA, Ohio — Ohio Sprint Speedweek has certainly been kind to Kyle Larson, as each of his Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victories have occurred during Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Indy Metal Finishing.

Larson, pilot of the Chevrolet Accessories/Finley Farms/Priority Aviation/Howard Johnson of Lima/No. 57 sprint car, dominated Friday night’s Speedweek opener at Attica Raceway Park, leading 25 of the 40 laps and winning by nearly eight seconds.

The $5,000 victory increased Larson’s Series win total to nine, now with two at Attica Raceway Park; his first since 2016.

“Just a great car all night,” Larson said. “It was either starting to clean off, or take a little bit of rubber through turns three and four. That made things pretty technical. At times, I felt like I needed to cheat it and run below it to stay on a clean track, but I knew I needed to be in the rubber at the same time. Definitely a fun track. I haven’t raced Attica too much, but this is the slickest Attica I’ve been on, so it’s pretty neat to get a win.”

Although starting from the pole, ‘Larson was beat to the initial punch, forced to follow defending All Star champion and current Series point leader, Aaron Reutzel, for the first 15 circuits.

A pair of cautions, one appearing on lap five and another on lap ten, gave Larson a set of opportunities to earn the advantage over Reutzel, but the Clute, Texas-native remained strong and in control.

Unfortunately for Reutzel, but a fortune circumstance for Larson, lap 16 proved to be drama-filled for the front-runners, as a spinning car would create a definite road block leaving Reutzel will little time to react and nowhere to go.

Eventual contact with the spinning car ended with Reutzel laying on his side, ultimately ending his evening at Attica Raceway Park. Reutzel’s early retirement inherited the lead to Larson, and that is where he stayed.

Kyle and Owen Larson at Attica Raceway Park. (Todd Ridgeway photo)
Kyle and Owen Larson at Attica Raceway Park. (Todd Ridgeway photo)

Despite Buddy Kofoid’s ability to hang with Larson during the first 15 circuits, actually showing Larson his nose on multiple occasions, the driver of the familiar Ed Neumeister-owned, No. 11n entry was no match for Larson during the latter stages of the main event.

Larson eventually escaped in traffic, extending his lead to nearly eight seconds with over half of the field left a lap down.

Six-time All Star champion Dale Blaney eventually snuck by Kofoid on lap 27 to secure the second position. Kofoid held on to finish third at the final checkers, followed by D.J. Foos and 12th-starting Tim Shaffer.

“I obviously caught a big break when Reutzel got caught up in that wreck. We were a little bit lucky tonight,” Larson continued. “It’s tough when you’re in second and the track is really dirty. I felt like Reutzel was a little bit better than me when he was leading, but then, once I was the leader, I felt like I was better than I had been when I was behind him.”

The finish:

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson [1]; 2. 11-Dale Blaney [5]; 3. 11N-Buddy Kofoid [4]; 4. 16-DJ Foos [7]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer [12]; 6. 70X-Spencer Bayston [9]; 7. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [10]; 8. 5X-Justin Peck [11]; 9. W20-Greg Wilson [18]; 10. 23-Hunter Schuerenberg [21]; 11. 5R-Byron Reed [19]; 12. 26-Cory Eliason [22]; 13. 8M-TJ Michael [6]; 14. 70-Brock Zearfoss [20]; 15. 13-Paul McMahan [25]; 16. 1ST-Gary Taylor [13]; 17. 99-Skylar Gee [26]; 18. O9-Craig Mintz [16]; 19. 35B-Stuart Brubaker [14]; 20. 3J-Trey Jacobs [15]; 21. G1-Caleb Helms [23]; 22. 1-Nate Dussel [24]; 23. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 24. 17B-Bill Balog [8]; 25. 25M-Chris Andrews [17]; 26. 14-Tony Stewart [3] Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel [1-15], Kyle Larson [16-40]

 

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