ORRVILLE, Ohio — For the third time in seven days, Kyle Larson found himself in victory lane, this time with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions on Monday night during Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket.
Larson started eighth at Wayne County Speedway but took command on lap 13 over Cale Conley and never looked back.
It was Larson’s fifth career win with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, all coming during Ohio Sprint Speedweek, as well as his second at Wayne County Speedway.
The triumph comes after Larson also won on June 13 with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series in Eagle, Neb., as well as claimed Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
“I was a little nervous during our dash tonight, but we were able to gain a few positions and increase our starting position by a few rows,” Larson said in victory lane. “I just tried to be patient the whole race. I knew we had a really good car.”
Larson’s march to the front started right from the drop of the green flag, cracking the top five by lap six.
A series of cautions, one for early race leader Brad Haudenschild, kept the feature field stacked together on three separate occasions during the first six laps.
Unfortunately for all of those in attendance, one pause in the action was caused by a power outage. The track lighting would soon reappear, however, allowing Larson to keep rolling forward.
By lap nine, Larson moved his way into third, eventually setting up a pass to take second on lap 11 before his winning move two laps later. He drove under Conley at the entrance of turn three and completed the pass by the exit of turn four.
From that point forward, Larson was flawless, even surviving one final caution with less than two laps remaining.
Tim Shaffer and Caleb Helms, who were each battling for second and third in the running order, made contact just before the flagstand on lap 29.
That duo’s misfortune allowed Kasey Kahne and Chad Kemenah to solidify themselves on the podium.
“I got to traffic and I started to worry a little bit,” Larson said. “I thought I saw the guys racing behind me creep up on my inside a little bit. I saw a ‘4’ and ‘10’ on the scoreboard and I knew Kasey [Kahne] and Chad [Kemenah] both started pretty far back, so I knew they had to be pretty good. Luckily, we hung on those last few laps and got the win.”
In qualifying, Larson set a new track record with the first-ever sub-14 second lap at Wayne County, lapping the three-eighths-mile oval in 13.823 seconds (97.663 mph).
The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will continue Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket competition on Tuesday night at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…