Winter Heat: NASCAR’s Kyle Larson hangs on for Night 2 win (VIDEO)

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A entertaining, three-way battle between NASCAR’s Kyle Larson and dirt-track veterans Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith ended in favor of the Sprint Cup rookie of the year as he won the A-Main on Night 2 of the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah (Ariz.) Speedway.

Larson, whose journey to NASCAR’s top level began with success in the sprint car ranks, qualified third for the feature but had to fight hard to earn the win on Saturday night.

He first jumped to P1 shortly after the halfway point of the 30-lap race, when leader Aaron Reutzel’s top wing appeared to buckle and forced him to stop.

But former World of Outlaws champion Lasoski and Smith (both of whom are among the Top-10 on the Outlaws’ all-time wins list) would not let Larson get away. On the restart following Reutzel’s problem, Lasoski shot to the lead and Smith began to close in from behind.

Eventually, Smith took second from Lasoski and the fight was on between him and Larson. As they maneuvered through traffic, they swapped the lead multiple times around the 3/8-mile dirt oval.

With three to go, Larson took control but Smith remained in striking distance and on the white-flag lap, he pulled one last slide-job on the inside. But, riding the cushion, Larson was able to power past Smith in the final turn and beat him to the stripe.

“It ranks right up there mainly because I haven’t been in a sprint car in a long time,” Larson said in a track release. “To beat Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith in a duel like that was pretty amazing. I think [the Showdown’s] a great event. It’s a great race track. The purse is really good. I think this event will grow each year.”

Said Smith: “We really wanted to win that race, but Kyle just, he didn’t give up and he earned it. We were just going back and forth and kinda just going where the other car wasn’t. When you get down to those last couple of laps and everybody is side by side, you’re just going where the opening is and just feeling your way around.”

The win was especially thrilling for Larson, who tweeted that Saturday may have been the most exciting race he’s ever been a part of:

Lasoski ended up in third position, while Joey Saldana and David Gravel completed the Top 5 on Saturday. Other notables included Friday winner Paul McMahan in ninth, and Larson’s fellow NASCAR star, Kasey Kahne, in 11th.

Saldana and Smith are now tied for the Winter Heat points lead after two nights of racing, with Lasoski three points back of them in third position. McMahan slipped to fourth in the standings but is still just 10 points out.

The five-night Winter Heat run will resume next Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. ET. Tuesday will be Larson’s final night at Cocopah, as he’ll be needed for next weekend’s Roar Before The Rolex 24 test sessions at Daytona International Speedway.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.