By NEAL WILT
BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Elk Grove California’s Kyle Larson captured the 35-lap Thunder on the Hill Pennsylvania Speedweek Feature Event at the Grandview Speedway on Tuesday Evening.
Larson, who started in the fourth position, passed early race leader Greg Hodnett, of Spring Grove, Pa., on the seventh lap with an inside Turn 3 pass. It was Larson’s second consecutive win at the Grandview Speedway in this event, and his fourth career PA Speedweek triumph. The race paid $7,000 to win.
Outside front row starter, Hodnett was able to stay with the Monster Energy Cup Star to finish in second, with fellow Cup Star, Kasey Kahne finishing where he started in third. Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart raced from seventh to fourth, with Danny Dietrich earning the hard charger award, coming from twelfth to round out the top five.
“Lot of fun in traffic; was running everywhere,” mentioned Larson of the 35 lap race.
Only two cautions slowed the race, this allowed for many laps to be run in traffic.
Larson and Hodnett swapped lanes numerous times waiting for the other to make a mistake.
“Adjust your line, the car changes a lot, thinking during the race to keep speed up, tried lanes at the right time,” said Larson of his race strategy.
“With my schedule (Monster Energy Cup Schedule) I usually race the same races, Silva (Paul Silva crew chief on the Finley Farms No. 57) has a good set up for Grandview,” added Larson.
For second place Greg Hodnett it was the same type of race, trying to find speed.
“There was no particular great spot, got to traffic and took a lot of laps to pass lapped cars, moving around, searching, everyone was trying something. Tried something and missed I lost ground, he tried something and missed I gained ground,” said Hodnett of racing with Larson.
“He didn’t make any mistakes,” deadpanned Hodnett.
Finishing in sixth was 13th place starting Ryan Smith, All Star Circuit of Champions regular Parker Price Miller claimed seventh. Freddie Rahmer finished in eighth, Anthony Macri claimed ninth. Lucas Wolfe rounded out the top ten.
A yellow on lap nine for a Tyler Reeser turn one spin, saw third place running and pole starter James McFadden head pitside with a right rear flat…
On lap 32 defending Camping World Truck Series Champion Christopher Bell got a flat while also racing in third. Caught up in Bell’s flat tire was Trey Starks, who was racing inside the top ten. Bell was racing the Kevin Swindell, Swindell Speedlab No. 39…
Four heats were run for the 31 cars on hand, with heat wins going to All Star Circuit of Champion regular Aaron Reutzel, Starks, Stewart, and Kahne…
Anthony Macri set quick time, but on the second lap of his time trial caught the boilerplate in turn three and flipped. He was able to make repairs in time for his heat race…
With his second place finish Greg Hodnett moved to the top of the PA Speedweek point chase. Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Trey Starks, and Lucas Wolfe make up the rest of the top five.
Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Kyle Larson; 2. Greg Hodnett; 3. Kasey Kahne; 4. Tony Stewart; 5. Danny Dietrich; 6. Ryan Smith; 7. Parker Price-Miller; 8. Freddie Rahmer; 9. Anthony Macri; 10. Lucas Wolfe; 11. Rico Abreu; 12. Kyle Moody; 13. Alan Krimes; 14. Brandon Rahmer; 15. Ryan Taylor; 16. Tyler Ross; 17. Christopher Bell; 18. Trey Starks; 19. Gerard McIntyre Jr.; 20. James McFadden; 21. J.J. Grasso; 22. Tyler Reeser; 23. Aaron Reutzel; 24. Steve Buckwatler.