Larson Stops Hines With Last-Lap Pass
Just three laps from the end, top-ten running Rico Abreu spun in turn two. Hines led the field to the restart, and Larson flew off into turn-one and circled his teammate Bell, with Hines in his cross-hairs. As the two hit the white flag, Larson moved alongside Hines for the lead. Off turn-two for the final time, Hines had just a nose in front, but Larson used a full head of steam to just sneak by Hines off the final corner. Larson’s win in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71K Bullet/Speedway Toyota was just .142 seconds over Hines in the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. No. 24 Spike/Stanton Toyota.
“Nobody showed their nose the whole time, so I just stuck to my guns. By the time I knew he was coming, we were looking at the checkers. I don’t know if I could have done anything even if I knew he was coming. We just got beat. I don’t feel like I slowed down at all over the course of the race, so I just kept trying to put down the same laps,” said a dejected Hines.
Bell came home third in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota in his first podium with the USAC Honda National Midget Series.
“I think we were really, really even with Tracy. I thought I could do something if we ever got to traffic. I was debating on that last restart if I should go to the top. I thought I could get a good enough run off four to do something into one, but then I got tight, and Kyle drove by us. It was a heckuva race, though, and a great way to start the week,” Bell said.
Felker and Steve Buckwalter completed the top five.
Bryan Clauson picked up the night’s “ProSource Fast Time Award” by shattering the old track record, coming out 36th during a hammer-down session to go 12.225 seconds around the quarter mile.