Nearing halfway of Friday night’s 98-lap feature at California’s Ventura Raceway while running fifth, Kyle Larson nearly saw his Turkey Night Grand Prix end in shambles after biking hard into turn one.
Somehow, someway, the Elk Grove, Calif. native regained his footing, kept his foot on the throttle and carried on as if it was just part of the game plan.
Obviously, it wasn’t, but Larson welcomes a challenge and responded to it in kind throughout the night, beginning with his qualifying run. After being a favorite to win the pole, Larson uncharacteristically spun on his second qualifying lap, relegating him to 16th fastest and forcing him to carve through the field if he was to reach the pinnacle once again.
Larson seemingly took it all in stride, even on a racing surface that had been deluged by heavy rain over the past three days that made the 1/5-mile oceanside bullring a giddy-up, bucking bronco style ride from the word go.
With all those challenges facing him, and even a lengthy precipitation delay during the night’s qualifying races, it still seemed inevitable that Larson was going to be a factor regardless if he started mid-pack, on the tail or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with one arm tied behind his back. That’s just how good Larson has been of late behind the wheel of a midget.
None of these things could prove a hindrance to Larson who won the prestigious race for a third time, joining Ron Shuman (8), Billy Boat (3) and Christopher Bell (3) as one of the Mt. Rushmore figures to win the event on at least three occasions following previous victories in 2012 and 2016.
— Flo Racing —