June 16, 2021 Speed Week Press Release
NASCAR’S Kyle Larson wins the All Star Circuit of Champions Wednesday night edition
By Brian Liskai
WAYNESFIELD, Ohio – Elk Grove, California’s Kyle Larson became the first repeat winner of the 39th Annual Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek Presented by Hercules Tire with a convincing win at Waynesfield Raceway Park on Wednesday, June 16 for the Rick Ferkel Classic. Larson had a terrific battle with Rico Abreu in the middle stages of the race, actually surrendering the lead to the St. Helena, California driver for a couple of laps before regaining the lead and driving to his 26th career FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions Presented by Mobile 1 victory.
Larson, who has been on a tear in NASCAR Cup Series competition as of late with three wins to sit second in the top tier point standings, also scored a speedweek win Monday at Wayne County Speedway near Orrville, Ohio. The win at “The Field” is Larson’s 14th career victory in Ohio Speedweek history.
“Really cool to get another win. A huge thanks to all our partners Folkens Brothers Trucking, MAVTV, Durst Tarlton, JVI Group, Finley Farms, Glenn Styres Racing, Macaris…there’s a lot of people that help out Paul (Silva). Rico made me earn that one through traffic. I got a little bit kind of sloppy in my lanes. Just trying to get the moisture. The cushion had fallen off the banking off of two so I really didn’t know where to run and he got by me on the bottom. And I was able to hit it right and slide him in three and four. I felt like the pace even slowed down so much down there I could make just a little more momentum up top. Awesome race track. I love Waynesfield. This is definitely my favorite Ohio track. I think this is my first wing win here…I think I finished second a couple of times with a wing and one without a wing. We’re going to head to Nashville now and try to get a win on Sunday,” said Larson.
Abreu would settle for a second place finish.
“That was fun racing. A fun track and a great crowd. This place…when it gets like that…it’s a lot of fun racing, focusing on car control and mobility in my car. I felt like it was respectful everywhere and I could make up some time on him in three and four when I would hit it right. You had to run that seam and catch the moisture coming off and not get too high up where the track shelved off really bad,” said Abreu beside his Rowdy Energy/Self Made Racing/Lucas Oil/Curb Records/Shop Rick dot com backed machine.
Tyler Courtney battled in the top three all race long and finished out the podium.
“This was my first time here…it’s a pretty fun little race track. I’ve watched a lot of racing here on streaming services but never had chance to race here. We had a really great night and our NOS Energy Drink car was really good. But when you’re racing with two of the best guys to do this it makes it pretty tough. I just kept making the wrong moves at the wrong time but to come home third in the week long thing we had a great night. I wasn’t expecting this place to be that fast…I was caught a little off guard there in hot laps. Then we’re running 10 second laps in qualifying…it kind of caught me off guard. I just learned the track as the night went and got better every time I hit the track,” said Courtney in the ZMAX Lubricants backed #7BC.
In the K&L Ready Mix NRA Sprint Invader 360-305 challenge, Jared Horstman, a four time NRA champion, grabbed the lead from Randy Hannagan with just four laps to go and drove to the victory.
“The car really came on there at the end and I found the groove before Randy could. What a great night and I’m so thankful for everyone who helps out on this team,” said Horstman holding his three month old daughter in victory lane beside his M&W Construction, Miller Construction, T&D Interiors, K&L Ready Mix, K3 Dog Spa, Schnipke Brothers Tire, All Purpose Contracting backed machine.
At the drop of the green for the 35-lap All Star feature new track record holder Sam Hafertepe Jr. tipped over and went to the work area. On the second attempt at a start Larson bolted into the lead over Cale Thomas, Abreu, Courtney, Zeb Wise and Bill Balog. Abreu wasted little time moving into second by lap three with Courtney following into third.
Lapped traffic came into play by the eighth circuit but a caution gave Larson a clear track which he used to build a sizeable lead. But Abreu stayed on the bottom groove and slowly ate into Larson’s advantage and dove under him for the lead on lap 16. Larson drove to his outside by Abreu led two more laps before Larson found his groove and drove back by for the lead on lap 18.
Larson maintained about a three car length advantage and at times put two lapped cars between himself and Abreu who had his hands full with Courtney with Bill Balog and Cory Eliason in pursuit. Balog’s run at the front came to an end on lap 28.
Larson got a fantastic restart and drove away for the victory over Abreu, Courtney, Parker Price Miller and Zeb Wise.
Following an opening lap spin, the 25 lap NRA feature went green to checkers. Max Stambaugh grabbed the early lead as Shawn Dancer, Ricky Peterson, Hannagan, Horstman and Tyler Gunn gave chase. Hannagan drove into second on lap three and immediately began to close on Stambaugh. Heavy lapped traffic by the 11 circuit allowed Hannagan to take a peak beneath the leader and eventually take the lead on lap 15.
Horstman worked his way into second on lap 16 and four circuit later drove to the outside of Hannagan for the lead. Horstman went unchallenged the remaining four laps for the win with Hannagan, Stambaugh, Dancer and Harli White rounding out the top five.
Waynesfield Raceway Park will be back in action July 3 for the Jack Hewitt/Bob Hampshire Classic with the FAST 410 winged sprints and Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series non-wing sprints in action.
Get the latest Waynesfield information online at https://waynesfieldmotorsportspark.com, on Facebook by liking Waynesfield Raceway Park or on Twitter by following @OfficialWRP.
Waynesfield Raceway Park
Wednesday, June 16, 2021