Kyle Larson flew around the upper side of high-banked Eagle Raceway to snatch the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win from Daryn Pittman, who had led for 29 of the race’s 30 laps.
Larson and fellow Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ricky Stenhouse Jr. make a very impressive team. On a NASCAR off day Stenhouse Jr. put Larson in a second entry for the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway. In addition to being firm friends with one another away from the track, Larson and Stenhouse Jr. both considered the late Bryan Clauson a good and dear friend. During the off season, Stenhouse Jr. allied with Matt Wood to form Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing – the team with which Clauson raced prior to his untimely death last year.
At the green flag, Daryn Pittman leapt to the front of the 24-car field, and he stayed there until the yellow flag went up for a spinning Paul McMahan and Jason Johnson. The field had to completely restart, as the yellow had come out before completion of a lap. After the field was driving once more, Pittman found himself back at the front in a battle to hold off eight-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz.
Larson Marks Racing’s Shane Stewart and Larson were soon putting some serious pressure on second place Schatz. The two managed to pass him with fewer than 10 laps left, and set their sights on leader Pittman.
“I got racing Shane [Stewart] pretty hard – I have fun racing him,” said Kyle Larson.
Heading through Turns 3 and 4 with under three laps remaining, Stewart steered to the bottom of the track while Larson headed to the top. They banged wheels entering Turn 1, and Larson shot to second position. He stayed up at the top of the raceway to sneak by Pittman and lead the final lap to win the race.
“We are there [close to a win], unfortunately we just need to finish it out,” said Daryn Pittman. “Second sucks. We haven’t been in the position all year and here we were. [Kyle] ran a good race and we just got beat.”
This was a special win for Larson and the Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing team; it was their first Outlaws win, and Larson paid homage to his friend Bryan Clauson in Victory Lane. The win is Larson’s first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win since 2013 and his first overall outside Calif., his home state.
“I can’t believe I parked it here; it’s pretty cool. I think this is this team’s first win; so happy to be a part of that,” he said.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns Friday, June 16 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. It will then proceed to Red River Valley Speedway Saturday, June 17. For tickets, visit WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets.
Unofficial World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Championship Standings