It was a long drive back to the top for Kyle Larson after recovering from a lap down to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck series Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby 150 on Wednesday at one of the premier dirt tracks in the country, the Eldora Speedway.
During the early part of the event, Larson cut down a right rear tire, stalling on the track which brought out the yellow costing him another lap after NASCAR penalized him for intentionally bringing out the race’s fourth caution on lap 52.
It took him two more cautions to get the ‘Lucky Dog’ and then he began his climb back to the top. The star of the race was dirt track pro Bobby Pierce, dominating the show for 102 laps before getting his transmission locked in fourth gear giving Larson the advantage on the restarts. Larson dialed up the right launch to take over with 24 laps to go powering away from Pierce after he cut a right rear tire, spinning, ending his day.
He was replaced to do battle with last year’s winner, Christopher Bell, who was in hot pursuit of Larson but could only get close with Larson winning by .767 of a second. Larson finally broke through with his first dirt-track Truck victory after finishing second in the inaugural event and was running second last year against Bell before his battered truck was retired. His last NASCAR Truck win was at Rockingham in 2013.
“We got the flat tire there early, I knew we would get a lucky dog, I just didn’t know if I could get back to the top-three as quick as I did,” said Larson. “It just worked out where I got by (Christopher) Bell when he got in the wall and I think Bobby (Pierce) had a gear issue. He was definitely better than I was for sure.
“I guess I didn’t really hold him (Pierce) off. He slid in there, hit the wall, and got a flat I think. I hated that I couldn’t race with him, but I was happy when he was out. I almost gave it away again after that restart. I went to the middle of three and four in third gear, I missed a shift off turn 4, and Bell got into my back bumper. Thankfully, he wasn’t inside of me, because he would have got the lead there and probably would be standing where I am.”
Rounding out the top five after Larson were Christopher Bell, Rico Abreu, Jake Griffin, and Tyler Reddick.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series now moves to Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 30, for the running of the Pocono Mountains 150 airing on FOX Sports 1.