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|6/28/11, 1:24 AM||
Larson Gets Podium Finish In 3rd Silver Crown
Join Date: Feb 2009
Larson Gets Podium Finish In Third Silver Crown Start
Columbus, Indiana. June 24 & 26, 2011. For the second week in a row 18 year old rookie USAC Midget and Silver Crown driver Kyle Larson got to expand his horizons by racing on one of the premier paved tracks in the country as he took to Iowa Speedway last Friday. And for the second week in a row the driver from Elk Grove, California came away with two top ten finishes as he claimed his first podium finish in the TRAXXAS Silver Crown division in only his third race and solidified his place in the Mopar National Midget Series points by taking a seventh at the checkered.
Unlike last week at the Milwaukee Mile, when the schedule of practice, qualifying and racing was spread out over three days, this time the two series completed all their action in a single day on the 7/8 mile high banked track located in Newton. When qualifying was completed by early evening for the 23 entrants in the midget division Larson had secured the sixth fast time in the Keith Kunz Motorsports/Toyota Racing Development Bullet. Of the like number of cars in the Silver Crown division Larson also settled for sixth quick in the KKM/IWX Motor Freight/Beast.
In the 50 lap midget feature, which was held in two 25 lap segments with a five minute break at the midpoint, Larson struggled with a race long tight condition that made moves to advance difficult. As Caleb Armstrong surged from his 10th place starting position to lead from lap 37 to the finish, Larson did his best to salvage seventh. Although early leader and series point leader Bryan Clauson finished fifth, fourth in points Larson was able to close ground on his nearest competitors, Darren Hagen and Bobby East, who finished 14th and 15th, as the schedule reached its half way point in the season.
In the 100 lap Silver Crown event Larson found the early going to be reminiscent of the earlier midget feature as the leaders gradually pulled away as he fought to stay in the top ten. But this time, with the longer distance and a setup that kept getting better as the race went on, the 2010 King of California for 410 dirt winged sprint cars began to pick off drivers that had earlier pulled away from him. As East dominated again to win his second straight Silver Crown affair in the non stop century grind, Larson, who was as high as second in the late going, settled for third behind pavement ace Bobby Santos III.
To fill his plate a little further Larson also headed to Indianaís Kokomo Speedway on Sunday night to strap on Jeff Walkerís Jam It In Storage Maxim non wing sprint car for the first time in a while. Shaking off the rust from his limited appearances in this type machine Larson went into battle in the draw format with 23 other top notch drivers. To make matters worse no hot laps were held as track management decided cars were not in the push off lane soon enough. From eighth, and last, starting in his heat Larson could only muster a sixth place finish, which relegated him to the B main.
From the third starting position Larson garnered a transfer to the feature by taking the runnerup spot in the B main. As most of the frontrunners blasted their way around the cushion of the normally racy track with little change in position, Larson bottom fed his way from 17th to come home eight in the 25 lapper won by Blake Fitzpatrick.
This coming week Larson will return to USAC Midget and Silver Crown action as the little cars head to Toledo, Ohio and Morris, Illinois for Friday and Saturday events on pavement. An all night trek to Terre Haute, Indiana will find Larson and the Keith Kunz Motorsports team ready to do battle in the Silver Crown behemoths in The Sumar Classic, a daytime event on Sunday.
Larsonís racing efforts are sponsored by Toyota Racing Development, Bullet Chassis, IWX Motor Freight, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill ~ Resort ~ Spa Casino ~ Reno, Simpson Race Products, RJís Race Graphics, Abreu Vineyards, JW Web Design, Kaeding Performance, Safety Solutions and All Star Performance.
For more information and news on Kyle Larson visit his website at www.kylelarsonracing.com.
Race date: June 24 & 26, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Nan Anderson