CAMERON, Mo. (July 29, 2012)—Kyle Larson won the feature in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series at US 36 Raceway for the second straight year Sunday.
“It’s one of my favorite tracks in a Midget,” Larson said. “I was looking forward to coming here when I saw it was open on my schedule.”
Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., stays busy racing coast-to-coast. He’s emerged as a short track superstar since the start of 2011. Larson had 22 victories in Midgets and non-wing and wing Sprint Cars last year in national events and series. Larson also appears to have a promising future in stock cars. Chip Ganassi Racing signed him last winter and Larson has wins in two late model and one in NASCAR’s K & N Pro Series East Series races. He also finished 10th in his debut in the NASCAR Camping World Series race at Kentucky Speedway on June 28. And Larson is continuing to run short tracks.
“This is my 14th or 15th win this year,” Larson said.
Larson started on the outside of the front row next to Keith Kunz Motorsports’ teammate Rico Abreu and their Toyota-powered Bullets dueled for the lead on the high-speed three-eighths mile track for 28 and a half laps in the 30-lap race.
Abreu, of Rutherford, Calif., held the lead for the opening 18, with Larson a few car lengths behind. They had been lapping traffic for six laps when Abreu encountered a cluster of slower cars.
“I misjudged a lapper and he (Larson) was right there,” Abreu said.
Abreu chased Larson, staying three or four car lengths behind, until his motor had a bearing failure and eliminated him. It also brought out the yellow to remove Abrue’s car, ending a 24-lap green flag run.
Brad Kuhn had inherited second, but seven lapped cars between him and Larson on the restart with two laps remaining prevented him from challenging him for the lead.
“I had a lot of fun racing through traffic,” Larson said. “Rico and I were pretty even and he made a mistake and got into a lapper. It broke his momentum and I got past.”
Larson has won in his last three starts in POWRi. The streak began a year ago on his 19th birthday, July 31, at US36 Raceway. Larson followed with a victory at Spoon River Speedway in Canton, Ill., on Sept. 17. Larson was fourth in his other POWRi start in 2011 at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.
Larson earned $3,000 for his win Sunday in the third and final event of the Speedway Motors Midget Money Week presented by RevHoney Energy Drinks.
Kuhn, a two-time POWRi National Midget champion from Avon, Ind., finished second and Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Ill., was third.
Kuhn started on the inside of the third row and was up to third in his Fontana-powered Beast by the second lap, but was never able to gain ground on Larson and Abreu.
“There wasn’t much to the race for me,” Kuhn said. “It was a good night for Fontana (where Kuhn works full time), second, third and fifth (Chett Gehrke).”
Daum was third in the POWRi feature at US36 a year ago. He had a strong Midget Money Week, second on Friday at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Wis., and fourth Saturday at Junction Motor Speedway.
“We had a pretty good week,” Daum said. “I had to work for this one (US36). I got bottled up on the first restart (lap two) and fell back to ninth. I tried to pick off cars, but was seventh for the restart with two (laps) to go. It wasn’t bonzai, but I was on a mission to get by four.”
The trio of Money Midget Week events are also part of the inaugural 14-event POWRi Lucas Oil West Series.
POWRi Lucas Oil National/West Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Brad Kuhn, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Scott Hatton, 5. Chett Gehrke, 6. Matt Sherrell, 7. Blake Hahn, 8. Austin Brown, 9. Garrett Aitken, 10. Daniel Robinson, 11 Jonathan Beason, 12. Cameron Hagin, 13. Riley Emmel, 14. Rico Abreu, 15. Terry Goodwin, 16. Andy Malpocker, 17. Darren Kingston, 18. Tim Siner, 19. Andrew Felker, 20. Jake Blackhurst, 21. Don Droud.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series 2012 race winners: Kennedale, Texas—Brady Bacon; Kennedale, Texas—Dave Darland; Jacksonville, Ill.—Mario Clouser; Grain Valley, Mo.—Brett Anderson; Wheatland, Mo.—Jake Blackhurst; Macon, Ill.—Zach Daum; Belleville, Ill.—Danny Stratton; Peoria, Ill.—Andrew Felker; Brownstown, Ill.–Brett Anderson; Haubstadt, Ind.—Brady Bacon; Grain Valley, Mo.—Michael Pickens; Springfield, Mo.—Michael Pickens; Lincoln, Ill.—Danny Stratton; Macon, Ill.—Bubba Altig; Wilmot, Wis.—Andrew Felker; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Rico Abreu; Beloit, Kan.—Scott Hatton; McCool Junction, Neb.—Rico Abreu; Cameron, Mo.—Kyle Larson.
POWRi Lucas Oil West Series 2012 race winners: Kennedale, Texas—Brady Bacon Kennedale, Texas—Dave Darland; Grain Valley, Mo.: Brett Anderson; Wheatland, Mo.—Jake Blackhurst; Grain Valley, Mo.—Michael Pickens; Springfield, Mo.—Michael Pickens; Oklahoma City—Andrew Felker; Oklahoma City—Andrew Felker; Beloit, Kan—Scott Hatton; McCool Junction, Neb.—Rico Abreu; Cameron, Mo.—Kyle Larson.
For more information, go to www.POWRi.com.