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NASCAR driver Kyle Larson nabs Silver Cup win at Lernerville |
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NASCAR driver Kyle Larson nabs Silver Cup win at Lernerville

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Kyle Larson rounds Turn 4 to win the World of Outlaws Silver Cup race at Lernerville Speedway, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review Kyle Larson pumps his arms in victory after winning the Silver Cup.

Five years ago, Kyle Larson thrilled the Lernerville Speedway crowd at the World of Outlaws Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup when he drove from 24th to second.

Tuesday night, Larson improved on that finish by dominating the Silver Cup in just his second time at the track and earned $25,000 for his efforts.

“This feels really good,” said Larson, who drives for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Series as his day job. “I had to work for it. I don’t feel like that other one got away from me, I just needed one more lap and this is not too bad for just my second time here.”

In the 2013 Silver Cup race, Larson started in the back of the field and electrified the crowd in a race won by Daryn Pittman in the second of the Twin-25s.

Larson started fourth in Tuesday’s race that featured one caution. That caution came early, on lap five, and from there Larson and the rest of the leaders had to negotiate their way through lapped traffic.

“I definitely didn’t want to see a caution out there,” Larson said. “Especially the closer Donny (Schatz) got to the front. It was very important to keep momentum in a race with only one caution.”

Brad Sweet finished second followed by six-time Silver Cup winner Donny Schatz in third. David Gravel finished fourth and Ian Madsen rounded out the top five. Pittman finished sixth, and pole-sitter Timmy Shaffer fell to seventh. Kasey Kahne finished 17th.

“I don’t think the track came to anyone tonight,” said Schatz, the WoO points leader. “The track never cleared off, so I don’t know what was the answer tonight because I don’t think you saw anyone moving through. I was close enough to the front to win, it just didn’t happen.”

Sweet, second in WoO points to Schatz, was a bit frustrated after his 24th top-five finish of the season. He finished second to Schatz at last weekend’s Kings Royal.

“It’s another second-place finish,” Sweet said. “I was just a little off tonight. Turns one and two were tricky tonight. I think Kyle (Larson) was better early, and I was maybe better a bit later. But I also think he was getting through lapped-traffic good enough.”

Brandon Spithaler was the top local finisher in 22nd, followed by George Hobaugh in 23rd. A.J. Flick was 25th and pulled off the track after 14 laps, and John Garvin completed 10 laps and was scored 26th.

Shaffer rolled to a solid victory in the six-lap dash to determine the front four rows in the feature. Shaffer earned the pole position with just over a second margin in front of Ian Madsen.

The B-Main had local drama. Cory Eliason took the checkered followed by Spithaler in second. Kahne worked his way through the field after starting eighth and grabbed the final automatic transfer spot from A.J. Flick. Sye Lynch finished sixth after losing the fourth spot to Flick midway through the 12-lap race.

Flick was eligible for the track provisional, along with Garvin, whose car regularly has been run at Lernerville by Brent Matus. The points earned stayed with the car, and thus Garvin was in the feature.

Thirty-six cars took to the track for qualifying, and it was Larson with the fastest time of 13.36 seconds. Kerry Madsen was second with a 13.397. Timmy Shaffer, the 1993 Lernerville track champion and two-time Silver Cup winner, was third with a 13.475.

The World of Outlaws will be back at Lernerville on Sept. 22 for the Commonwealth Clash.

Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.

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