By BRETT ROSE
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Kyle Larson has been using his time back racing Sprint Cars on a regular basis to his advantage of late in collecting quite a few wins over the last few weeks.
Larson, out of Elk Grove, California drove the Paul Silva No.57 to victory at Hagerstown Speedway on Thursday night in a dominating drive to win the Johnny Grum Memorial in Round 7 of Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek.
Larson out powered Brock Zerafoss from the pole to maintain the lead coming off of turn two. As the laps clicked down, Larson masterfully navigated through traffic using every groove possible.
As Larson pulled away, Zearfoss, Sammy Swindell, and Brent Marks battled for second, while Danny Dietrich had his hands full racing with Rico Abreu.
Swindell and Marks swapped spots in the runner-up position, and Marks settled in around Swindell before the only caution flag waved on Lap 23 for the spun car of Zearfoss.
On the restart, Larson pulled away from Marks over the final seven laps to take his first career win at Hagerstown. Swindell finished third, followed by Abreu and 2019 Grum Memorial winner Freddie Rahmer in fifth.
“My car was really good……….I could go mostly wherever I wanted to and that helps, especially racing in lapped traffic”, said Larson. “I felt like I lapped a lot of people, so I wanted it to stay green. I felt like I had a big enough gap over second, but I didn’t want to see that caution because I didn’t know where Brent (Marks) was running behind me.”
Notes: Thirty-two teams were pit side on a very warm July evening for the fourth running of the event to honor Grum, the 1966 and 1969 Super Modified/Sprint Car champion.
Out of those 32 cars, Larson was the quickest turning a lap of 15.593 seconds around the Hub City half-mile oval. Larson just missed the weight limit era record of 15.580 seconds set by T.J. Stutts in 2017.
The overall record is still held by Mark Kinser with a 14.945 lap time that has stood since 1999.
Heat winners were Kyle Reinhardt, Marks, Ryan Smith, and Swindell. Robbie Kendall was the B-Main winner.
410 Sprints (30 laps) – 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Brent Marks, 3. Sammy Swindell, 4. Rico Abreu, 5. Freddie Rahmer, 6. Anthony Macri, 7. Ryan Smith, 8. Danny Dietrich, 9. Chase Dietz (Hard Charger), 10. Mike Wagner, 11. Brock Zearfoss, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. Kyle Reinhardt, 14. Logan Wagner, 15. Chad Trout, 16. Brett Michalski, 17. Robert Ballou, 18. T.J. Stutts, 19. Jared Esh, 20. Justin Whittal, 21. Brandon Rahmer, 22. Lucas Wolfe, 23. Dylan Cisney, 24. Robbie Kendall.