YORK HAVEN, Pa.: After going three races without visiting Victory Lane, Kyle Larson had to make up for slipping under his winning average for 2020.
Larson started to rectify that Wednesday night with a victory at Lincoln Speedway. On Thursday, his success carried over to BAPS Motor Speedway.
The Elk Grove, Calif., driver made it 29 wins in 57 starts when he held off Danny Dietrich in a thriller to capture the Kevin Gobrecht Classic at BAPS. The win was his second in a row and banked Larson $5,100.
Larson ended his three-race losing streak Wednesday night at Lincoln Speedway. On Thursday, he started another one by winning the Kevin Gobrecht Classic at BAPS Motor Speedway for his second win in a row.
“Honestly, last week wasn’t a bad weekend,” Larson said. “We got beat by the best cars at Port Royal, so I wasn’t too down about it. I think the fans put a lot of high expectations on our team, which is great, but if you don’t win, you are in a slump.
"It’s good to win. We need to get better when it’s slick like this with nothing to lean on, but I’m excited to get back to the Grove and then Lincoln and hopefully win a couple more.”
It took a while to get the 30-lap event started. Bradley Howard had a safety issue on the initial start, and Doug Hammaker got upside down at the exit of Turn 2 on the second attempt to start the race.
Once the race went green, it was all Larson. He surged ahead of Lucas Wolfe from his outside-pole starting spot. By the time the fifth lap was scored, the former NASCAR star opened up a 3.677-second lead.
While Larson sped away and hid, Wolfe was left to battle with Tanner Thorson. The two drivers went back-and-forth, trading the position for three laps before Wolfe was able to inch ahead on Lap 8.
Scelzi, who started fourth, entered the mix on Lap 10. He slid Thorson and Wolfe for second entering Turn 1. Wolfe ducked under in the second corner, with Thorson retaking third out of Turn 4.
Meanwhile, Larson was gone. He opened up a 4.232-second advantage by Lap 12. The only thing that slowed his pace was the caution on the 13th circuit when Anthony Macri spun in Turn 2.
“Starting outside of the front row the last two nights has really helped us,” Larson said. “It’s good to get good draws. I’ve won a lot this year, but I’ve had to work for it with getting bad draws in dashes and things like that.
“It was nice to draw the front row for a change and not have to run a Dash to risk going backwards.”
When the race went back to green, J.J. Grasso blew by Scelzi and Wolfe for second. His race came to an abrupt end at the completion of Lap 14 when he slowed on the frontstretch with front-end issues.
After another caution for Zach Newlin, Scelzi started to reel in Larson. The California driver was only 10 car-lengths behind on Lap 17 but closed it to three car-lengths with 10 to go.
Larson was moving all over the track to hold his lead. Scelzi showed his nose in the first and second corner on Lap 23, but Larson was able to maintain his advantage on the high side of Turn 2.
Dietrich caught Scelzi with a slider through Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 25. Scelzi returned the favor at the other end of the speedway, but Dietrich came off the cushion in the second corner and took the position.
It didn’t take long for Dietrich, who started 10th, to catch Larson. He was .480 seconds back on Lap 27 and tried a huge slider through the third and fourth corner one lap later that came up just short.
“If I knew I was going to hit that rut the way I did, yeah, I would’ve waited another lap,” Dietrich said. “I just hit that hole in three just wrong and lost momentum across. Otherwise, I would’ve cleared him no problem.
“It just kind of rocked my car hard enough that it shot me to the outside fence sooner than I wanted it to. I didn’t want to show my nose completely over there, because he would’ve moved down. I had to pull the trigger as soon as I possibly could, so he didn’t move down and ruin any chance I had.”
That was the last chance Dietrich got. Larson was able to increase his lead to half a second with one to go and seemed to catch traffic at the right time.
Larson was too smart and too good through the backmarkers on the last circuit. He took the bottom away entering Turn 3 on the last lap and was able to beat Dietrich to the stripe by .645 seconds.
“I could see Danny coming well before he got to me and got past Gio, because he was running the bottom, and the top gets so long,” Larson said. “It’s a paperclip, so when you get sideways, you can peak left.
“I knew he was coming on the bottom, and I had to worry about Gio in the middle, so I felt I was in trouble. Once Danny tried to slide me, I think we caught some traffic, and I knew if I closed off the entry into three, he wasn’t going to be able to get by unless he ripped the top. I’m just thankful I saw the checker.”
Dietrich settled for second, with Scelzi taking third. Wolfe and 12th-place starter Rico Abreu completed the top five.
Jimmy Combs won the 15-lap Classic Car feature after passing Steve Cantwell Jr. for the lead on Lap 4. Jim Rost, Joe Brown, Dylan Brown, and Ron Grove completed the top five.
BAPS Motor Speedway
York Haven, Pa.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
For Immediate Release
SPRINTCARUNLIMITED.COM 410 SPRINT CARS: KEVIN GOBRECHT CLASSIC
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 4. 24-Lucas Wolfe; 5. 24A-Rico Abreu; 6. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt; 7. 20-Tanner Thorson; 8. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 9. 75-Tyler Ross; 10. 21-Brian Montieth; 11. W20-Greg Wilson; 12. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr; 13. 91-Anthony Fiore; 14. 73B-Brett Michalski; 15. 44-Dylan Norris; 16. 4-Dwight Leppo; 17. 90-Jordan Givler; 18. 16A-Aaron Bollinger; 19. (DNF) 37-JJ Grasso; 20. (DNF) 54A-Zachary Newlin; 21. (DNF) 49H-Bradley Howard; 22. (DNF) 39M-Anthony Macri; 23. (DNF) 15-Jeff Rohrbaugh; 24. (DNF) 4R-Doug Hammaker.
Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson (1-30)
410 Sprint Car Time Trial Finish: 1. 9-James McFadden, 00:15.206; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri, 00:15.270; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 00:15.278; 4. 24A-Rico Abreu, 00:15.306; 5. 57-Kyle Larson, 00:15.309; 6. 21-Brian Montieth, 00:15.349; 7. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt, 00:15.356; 8. 20-Tanner Thorson, 00:15.432; 9. 91-Anthony Fiore, 00:15.467; 10. 48-Danny Dietrich, 00:15.591; 11. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 00:15.779; 12. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr, 00:15.914; 13. 99M-Kyle Moody, 00:15.937; 14. 4-Dwight Leppo, 00:15.990; 15. 4R-Doug Hammaker, 00:16.004; 16. 73B-Brett Michalski, 00:16.038; 17. W20-Greg Wilson, 00:16.039; 18. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 00:16.101; 19. 49H-Bradley Howard, 00:16.107; 20. 54A-Zachary Newlin, 00:16.155; 21. 75-Tyler Ross, 00:16.167; 22. 37-JJ Grasso, 00:16.229; 23. 90-Jordan Givler, 00:16.562; 24. 44-Dylan Norris, 00:16.564; 25. 15-Jeff Rohrbaugh, 00:16.804; 26. 16A-Aaron Bollinger, 00:16.923; 27. (DNS) 99-George Riden.
410 Sprint Car Heat 1 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt; 2. 24A-Rico Abreu; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich; 4. 37-JJ Grasso; 5. 73B-Brett Michalski; 6. 15-Jeff Rohrbaugh; 7. 49H-Bradley Howard; 8. (DNF) 9-James McFadden; 9. (DNF) 99M-Kyle Moody.
410 Sprint Car Heat 2 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 57-Kyle Larson; 2. 24-Lucas Wolfe; 3. 39M-Anthony Macri; 4. 20-Tanner Thorson; 5. W20-Greg Wilson; 6. 4-Dwight Leppo; 7. 90-Jordan Givler; 8. 16A-Aaron Bollinger; 9. 54A-Zachary Newlin.
410 Sprint Car Heat 3 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 91-Anthony Fiore; 2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi; 3. 21-Brian Montieth; 4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss; 5. 19-Troy Wagaman Jr; 6. 44-Dylan Norris; 7. 4R-Doug Hammaker; 8. 75-Tyler Ross; 9. (DNS) 99-George Riden.
Feature (15 Laps): 1. 19-Jimmy Combs; 2. 17-Jim Rost; 3. 89-Joe Brown; 4. 9-Dylan Brown; 5. 09-Ron Grove; 6. 34-Conner Cantwell; 7. 20-Steve Cantwell Jr. (DNF); 8. 8-Tom Hall (DNF); 9. 59-Sharon Unitas (DNF); 10. 07-Steve Cantwell Sr. (DNF).
Lap Leaders: Joe Brown (1), Steve Cantwell Jr. (2-3), Jimmy Combs (4-15)
Classic Car Heat 1 Finish (6 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 89-Joe Brown; 2. 19-Jimmy Combs; 3. 9-Dylan Brown; 4. 17-Jim Rost; 5. 07-Steve Cantwell Sr.
Classic Car Heat 2 Finish (6 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 20-Steve Cantwell Jr.; 2. 59-Sharon Unitas; 3. 34-Conner Cantwell; 4. 8-Tom Hall; 5. 09-Ron Grove (DNF).
Photo: Tim Basehore (WRT Speedwerx)