Kyle Larson wins fifth consecutive dirt race on the All Star Circuit

Michael Fry/ASCOC
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Kyle Larson scored his fifth consecutive victory in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, leading the final 21 laps to sweep the Saturday-Sunday races at Port Royal (Pennsylvania) Speedway.

Coupled with winning Saturday in the first half of the Bob Wikert Memorial, Larson won an extra $5,000 on top of the $10,000 earned for each victory.

He has 10 victories in 16 starts this year on the 410 winged sprint car circuit owned by Tony Stewart. Over the last 45 days in the No. 57 owned by Paul Silva, Larson has 20 victories in 33 starts on dirt tracks with a worst finish of sixth.

He also has won his last three starts in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and is expected to go for four in a row Tuesday night in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania.

“My car was really good again tonight. Hats off to Paul Silva and everyone else that helps make this all possible,” Kyle Larson said after his victory Sunday, according to an ASCOC release. “We had a string of races where we just missed getting the wins and got beat late. It was starting to stress me out, to be honest, but now we’re winning again. Hopefully we can keep it up, especially with some bigger races coming up.”

Larson took the lead at Port Royal on Lap 10 from Carson Macedo, who drives for Kyle Larson Racing in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car series. Though he led 32 of 60 laps across two feature races, Larson said he still wasn’t comfortable until the checkered flagg.

“I was honestly a little worried the whole race,” Larson said. “(Points leader Aaron) Reutzel was running really hard the first ten laps, but I felt like I was really good behind him, especially getting through turns three and four. I wasn’t sure how close he would be to me once I got out front, but I felt like I hit my marks good enough that he wouldn’t be able to get back by me.”

A-Main (30 Laps)

1. 57-Kyle Larson [6]; 2. 69K-Lance Dewease [10]; 3. 39M-Anthony Macri [9]; 4. 29-Danny Dietrich [5]; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen [8]; 6. 41-David Gravel [11]; 7. 5-Brent Marks [22]; 8. 83-Daryn Pittman [3]; 9. 72-Ryan Smith [20]; 10. 5C-Dylan Cisney [19]; 11. 1S-Logan Schuchart [7]; 12. 26-Cory Eliason [15]; 13. 51-Freddie Rahmer [17]; 14. 13-Paul McMahan [13]; 15. 17-Josh Baughman [23]; 16. 17h-Sheldon Haudenschild [12]; 17. 55-Mike Wagner [27]; 18. 11-Zeb Wise [25]; 19. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [21]; 20. 9-Kasey Kahne [24]; 21. 2M-Kerry Madsen [1]; 22. 2-Carson Macedo [2]; 23. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 24. 17B-Steve Buckwalter [16]; 25. 2f-AJ Flick [26]; 26. 55K-Robbie Kendall [18]; 27. 39s-Sammy Swindell [14] Lap Leaders: Carson Macedo (1-9), Kyle Larson (10-30)

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.