Kyle Larson wins Outlaws at I-55: ‘Means so much; I can’t describe it’

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Kyle Larson won in his third World of Outlaws start since losing his NASCAR ride last month, leading the final 16 laps Saturday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.

It was the Outlaws’ third race since returning from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutdown, and the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series was racing before a limited crowd for the second consecutive night.

“Can’t thank all you fans enough for the support over the last few handful of weeks here,” Larson, who lost his ride at Chip Ganassi Racing after using a racial slur in an iRacing event a month ago, told the I-55 fans and a DirtVision audience. “It really means a lot. Everybody who’s on this car, my family, my friends. This win means so much personally. It’s … uh, I can’t even describe it.”

Kyle Larson celebrates after winning the World of Outlaws race in Pevely, Missouri (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).

Before being joined by his wife, Katelyn, and his son, Owen, for the victory lane celebration, Larson again expressed gratitude again to his fan base.

“I can’t thank each and every one of you enough,” he said. “Everybody watching on DirtVision at home. All my supporters. It means a lot, and I can’t wait to get my journey started and kind of see where my future goes from here.”

The victory was a $20,000 payday for Larson, who started fourth and finished first ahead of Brent Marks and Brad Sweet. Points leader Logan Schuchart and Brock Zearfoss rounded out the top five.

“Hats off to Kyle,” said Sweet, Larson’s brother-in-law who had beat him Friday night. “I know he needed that.”

It was the ninth Outlaws victory for Larson, moving him into a tie for 44th on the career wins list with Sprint Car legends Keith Kauffman, Brent Kaeding and Kenny Jacobs.

Sheldon Haudenschild was leading comfortably with 16 laps remaining in the 40-lap feature race when his No. 17 (which is owned by NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) hopped the cushion, hit the outside wall and tumbled several times through the dirt.

Haudenschild was able to walk away from the crash, which handed the lead to Larson, who had finished runner-up Friday night to Sweet.

Larson kept the lead the rest of the way, easily pulling away after multiple restarts despite knocking out a sprint car suspension piece called a “Jacobs Ladder” (which helps with rear handling) during wall contact on Lap 12.

“It made it a lot harder, so I was extremely tight, but I felt good before I got in the wall,” Larson said of the damage. “It took me a handful of laps to get used to it. I finally just started running the crap out of it, and wide open was the only way I could keep it from bouncing.

“I actually felt like I was better than Sheldon before I got in the wall, and then once I figured out how to drive it with no Jacobs Ladder, I still felt I was better than him. It was unfortunate to see him get in the wall. I think it was going to be a great race. It always is with two aggressive drivers so, but I felt like I could have beat him heads up, so that was a big confidence-booster for me.”

After the red flag for Haudenschild’s crash, Larson easily handled multiple restarts and said the yellows helped him and his No. 57, which was prepared by Paul Silva, the general manager at the Kyle Larson Racing sprint car team. Silva also is the crew chief and listed owner of Larson’s No. 57.

“Paul Silva’s been working his tail off ever since we started the year at Volusia,” Larson said. “We’ve struggled, but he’s worked hard this week and got it better, and I felt great in that feature. I could finally get down the straightaways. I could finally get grip into the corner and off, so I don’t think I could have been much better other than not making a mistake on my part and hurting the car.

“I was really worried about traffic. My pace would slow down, and I would get even tighter, so I knew I needed cautions, and they really fell at the right time for me, so just everything kind of fell in my lap tonight. But we had a good car to go along with it.”

Kyle Larson races his No. 57 at I-55 (Jimmy Dearing/World of Outlaws).

It was the first time Larson had raced with the Outlaws at Pevely, which has been on the series’ schedule since 1987, and he acquitted himself quite well.

Larson, 27, set a track qualifying record Friday, becoming the first Outlaws driver to crack the 10-second barrier on the 0.333-mile high-banked dirt track.

“I’ve always wanted to race here at Pevely,” he said. “It definitely didn’t disappoint. This place is great. All the track prep, I was worried, but it turned out to be a great racetrack.”

He remains on indefinite suspension from NASCAR but was approved to race with the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.

NEXT: The World of Outlaws will race May 29-30 before limited crowds at Lake Ozark Speedway.

RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [4][$20,000]; 2. 5-Brent Marks [8][$7,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [2][$3,000]; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart [5][$2,700]; 5. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [3][$2,500]; 6. 71-Shane Stewart [6][$2,200]; 7. 2-Carson Macedo [12][$2,000]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [25][$800]; 9. 18-Ian Madsen [20][$1,600]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [14][$1,450]; 11. 83-Daryn Pittman [7][$1,300]; 12. 14-Parker Price-Miller [10][$1,200]; 13. 24-Rico Abreu [19][$1,100]; 14. 17B-Bill Balog [18][$1,000]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [9][$1,000]; 16. 51-Freddie Rahmer [11][$1,000]; 17. 41-David Gravel [23][$1,000]; 18. 7S-Jason Sides [26][$]; 19. 13-Paul McMahan [21][$1,000]; 20. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey [16][$1,000]; 21. 1A-Jacob Allen [17][$1,000]; 22. 87-Aaron Reutzel [24][$1,000]; 23. 4-Terry McCarl [13][$1,000]; 24. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [1][$1,000]; 25. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [15][$1,000]; 26. 21-Brian Brown [22][$1,000]; Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-2, Sheldon Haudenschild 3-23, Kyle Larson 24-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz[+17]

Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 10.948; 2. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 10.965; 3. 57-Kyle Larson, 11.007; 4. 71-Shane Stewart, 11.032; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.196; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.22; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen, 11.308; 8. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 11.428; 9. 21-Brian Brown, 11.436; 10. 48-Danny Dietrich, 11.667; 11. 4-Terry McCarl, 11.698; 12. 24-Rico Abreu, 11.718; 13. 35X-Stuart Brubaker, 11.724; 14. 33M-Mason Daniel, 11.793; 15. 99M-Kyle Moody, 11.82; 16. 17W-Shane Golobic, 11.848; 17. 17A-Austin McCarl, 11.877; 18. 24W-Lucas Wolfe, 11.946; 19. 41-David Gravel, 11.963; 20. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 12.263; 21. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.274; 22. 35-Zach Hampton, 12.314; 23. 44S-Trey Starks, 12.361; 24. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier, 12.367; 25. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 12.456; 26. 9K-Kyle Schuett, 12.657; 27. 15H-Sam Hafertepe, 12.679; 28. 55W-Logan Wagner, 12.774; 29. 6-Bill Rose, 12.791; 30. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg, NT; 31. 42-Cory Bruns, NT

Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 11.531; 2. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 11.806; 3. 14-Parker Price-Miller, 11.856; 4. 83R-Lynton Jeffrey, 11.859; 5. 83-Daryn Pittman, 11.874; 6. 2-Carson Macedo, 11.886; 7. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.894; 8. 5-Brent Marks, 11.923; 9. 13-Paul McMahan, 11.927; 10. 18-Ian Madsen, 11.975; 11. 17B-Bill Balog, 11.986; 12. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.998; 13. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 12.015; 14. 7S-Jason Sides, 12.037; 15. 9-Kasey Kahne, 12.038; 16. 11-Zeb Wise, 12.061; 17. 91-Cale Thomas, 12.074; 18. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 12.083; 19. 39M-Anthony Macri, 12.12; 20. 2KS-Chad Boespflug, 12.249; 21. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt, 12.279; 22. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.281; 23. 51B-Joe Miller, 12.283; 24. 70-Justin Peck, 12.334; 25. 49J-Josh Schneiderman, 12.473; 26. 64-Scotty Thiel, 12.552; 27. 44-Jeff Swindell, 12.556; 28. 11T-T.J. Stutts, 12.61; 29. 21X-Brinton Marvel, 12.935; 30. 23B-Brian Bell, 13.127

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.


Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX