By KEN BRUCE
There is not much more that can be said about Kyle Larson that hasn’t already been written. The driver from Elk Grove, CA has won in just about anything he sits in and has a fan following no matter when and where he straps himself in a race car. Don’t get me wrong, Larson is not the only reason people pack the pits and stands at Grandview Speedway as I have been to many PA Speedweek shows without Larson in attendance and the stands have been packed, but there is no doubt the intrigue is higher when NASCAR stars Larson and Christopher Bell are racing.
On Tuesday night at Grandview Speedway, Larson did not disappoint the standing room only crowd as he once again raced to victory during PA Speedweeks. Larson started the feature in the fifth spot and methodically worked his way to the front taking the lead with only a few laps to go to take the big win. To watch Larson race is like watching a surgeon perform an operation. Every move is calculated and when it seems he does not have the car to win, he reaches down and pull his belts tighter and somehow comes up with what it takes to get the win.
Larson is a true generational racer and one I do not think I have ever witnessed before. I know some people will argue the fact that AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti showed the same talent and prowess when they were younger, but I unfortunately was not around to see them race. No matter what kind of race car that Larson straps himself into, it seems the young man either wheels it to victory or is ultra-competitive. It is a true pleasure to watch Larson and I doubt if I will ever see someone like him again and Larson gets it.
After winning Tuesday night on an extremely hot night, Larson stood outside his trailer and signed autographs and took pictures with each fan for easily an hour and did not leave until every fan was satisfied. I waited for Kyle to finish with the fans before I interviewed him and when he did come over to talk to me, he unnecessarily apologized to me for making me wait. A total class act to me.
Back to the race, Larson seems to have made Grandview a destination track when it comes to PA Speedweek. Larson has won four out of the last five PA Speedweek shows at Grandview and just seems to have taken to the Bechtelsville dirt oval.
“They have all been hard to win, but I really do like this place a lot,” mentioned Larson after signing for the fans. “The race was kind of up and down for me. I felt really good in the beginning then really bad in the middle portions. After that final restart, I was really good again and probably the best I was. It was it was good to be fast late and get another win here.”
Right before the final restart Danny Dietrich was putting a lot of pressure on Larson and seemed to have the faster car, but Larson held his line and Dietrich was not able to get by which was a key to Larson being able to get the win.
“Like I said earlier, I was struggling there in the middle of the race, and I was up top and could see someone below me,” explained Larson. “So, I moved down, and I could hear him and kind of see his nose wing when I was running the bottom and thankfully the caution came out a the right time because he was probably getting ready to pass me and for whatever the reason my car was really good after that.”
Larson did make a small adjustment to the No. 57 Sprint Car under the last caution, and it obviously was the right adjust as he made the pass of Brent Marks when the race went back to green and quickly pulled away for the win.
“I had the wing pushed all the way back before the caution,” said Larson. “Under the caution I did move it forward a couple of inches for the restart and it gave me a lot of grip, but then moved it back again just to keep up with it on the last run. It was kind of surprising we were that good that late in the race.”
As all race fans know, Larson is currently the hottest driver on the NASCAR Cup circuit and except for a flat tire on the last turn of Saturday’s Pocono race could easily be looking at five in a row wins on the NASCAR Cup circuit. I asked Larson if running all these extra midweek races correlates to his success on Sunday’s.
“I just think that any racing I get to do helps with all of my racing no matter what kind of car I am in. I don’t think there is one that helps more than the other, they all kind of help each other. Especially when you are running good, it really helps your confidence.”
As always, I can be reached for any comments or questions via email email@example.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25