BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. — Kyle Larson barnstormed to his sixth-consecutive sprint car win during Tuesday night’s action-packed NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series event at Grandview Speedway.
The 35-lap event, which also served as round five of Pennsylvania Speedweek, saw Larson wheel Paul Silva’s No. 57 to yet another $5,000 payday against the famed Pennsylvania Posse.
“I felt like I was playing defense all night, tonight,” Larson said. “Ryan Smith had a great car. I definitely got a little lucky.”
Ryan Taylor and Greg Hodnett led the field to the start. On the initial start, Larson – who started in the third position – shot inside Taylor in a three-wide battle for the lead. Hodnett and Larson engaged in an expert duel for the top spot, until contact between the two sent Hodnett’s No. 27 machine spinning toward the outside guardrail.
Larson set a rapid pace on the restart, with T.J. Stutts challenging for the lead. A lap-eight caution flag stacked the field, and a three-wide battle for the second spot ensued with Stutts holding off Taylor and Rico Abreu. It would be Abreu and Stutts with the short straw after contact between the two left both cars spinning.
Maintaining the lead through consecutive yellows, Larson pulled away from the pack at lap 11, with Taylor battling Ryan Smith for second place. The red flag flew for the first time on the 12th circuit when three-time Thunder on the Hill winner Tyler Walker got upside down in spectacular fashion, collecting Brandon Rahmer in the process.
While Larson held a comfortable lead on the restart, Smith began closing in.
A full-house of race fans leaped to their feet when Smith muscled around Larson exiting turn two, carrying that momentum into turn three before clipping the wall, sending Smith’s Warko Group No. 94 flipping wildly into the third turn. A dejected, but unscathed, Smith exited the car to a standing ovation from race fans.
Danny Dietrich would restart in the second position, but Larson was too quick for ‘Double D’.
Aside from the leader, Dietrich had his hands full with third-place runner Freddie Rahmer, who maneuvered his way into the second spot with five laps remaining.
Rahmer ultimately finished in second after starting 18th, ahead of Dietrich, Taylor and Alan Krimes.
Duane Howard won the companion sportsman modified feature.
RESULTS: Pennsylvania Speedweek; Grandview Speedway; July 4, 2017
A-Feature (35 laps): 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Freddie Rahmer, 3. Danny Dietrich, 4. Ryan Taylor, 5. Alan Krimes, 6. James McFadden, 7. J.J. Grasso, 8. Dale Blaney, 9. Brock Zearfoss, 10. Rico Abreu, 11. Lucas Wolfe, 12. Gerard McIntyre Jr., 13. Kasey Kahne, 14. Mitchell Wormail, 15. Jordyn Brazier, 16. Sean Zemunik, 17. George Streaker Jr., 18. Ryan Smith, 19. Davey Sammons, 20. Tyler Walker, 21. Brandon Rahmer, 22. T.J. Stutts, 23. Kyle Reinhardt, 24. Greg Hodnett, 25. Jared Esh.
CREDIT: Thunder on the Hill Racing Series