Larson Flies In, Masters Midgets
ROSSBURG, Ohio — Kyle Larson kept his 4-Crown Nationals winning streak alive at the 31st annual event Saturday night at Eldora Speedway.
Larson, who swept all three divisions in the event in 2011, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and flew to Ohio in time to compete in the USAC-sanctioned event. Still, he missed hot laps and qualifying.
With his Keith Kunz midget qualified by Hunter Schuerenberg, Larson ran his heat race and earned ninth starting spot for the 25-lap feature on the half-mile oval.
He weaved his way through traffic, taking second after 12 laps. From there, he quickly ran down leader Jerry Coons Jr. and took the lead with 10 laps to go.
“Once I got to second I chased down Jerry pretty quick and got by him,” Larson said. “The cushion kept getting closer to the wall and I actually hit it a couple times coming off of two. I just had to make sure I kept it off the fence.”
With Larson dominating the field the only remaining drama — besides the dogfight between polesitter Brad Kuhn and fellow front-row starter Coons — came out of turn four when Larson’s engine let go. Even with smoke billowing from the power plant, Larson was able to coast across the finish line by a comfortable margin.
“I got pretty lucky getting the checkered right there. There was no sign of it blowing up at all off of four. Luck is with us again this year,” Larson said.
Kuhn finished second and Coons was third. Bobby East and Darren Hagen rounded out the top five.
Larson, meanwhile, joined J.J. Yeley, Tracy Hines and Steve Butler in fourth place with those four victories in the 4-Crown.