WATCH: Outlaws epic between Donny Schatz, Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet

World of Outlaws Kyle Larson
Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Even when Kyle Larson isn’t winning dirt races, he still seems to be involved in something memorable — such as the finish to the latest race on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car circuit.

In Tuesday night’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania, Larson came up just short in pursuit of his sixth consecutive sprint car victory (and his fourth in a row in the Outlaws). But he still was involved in a thrilling three-way battle for the victory with 10-time series champion Donny Schatz and defending series champion Brad Sweet.

After Larson and his brother-in-law Sweet fiercely battled for the lead with three laps remaining, Schatz crept back into the picture and passed both over the final lap and a half — sweeping from third to first on the final lap in roughly 5 seconds.

“It’s fun to race like that,” Schatz said after retaking the points lead from Sweet with his 297 career victory. “Those guys are good. That’s what you guys pay to see.”

Kyle Larson Larson passed Sweet off the last corner to finish second — his first time off the top step of a World of Outlaws race in weeks.

“Hate that I let (Schatz) by because I felt like I would have had a good shot at Brad, but it was a fun race, fun to have three of us battle for a win there coming down late, just came up short,” he said. “I would have liked to get a win and keep the streak going but still another podium tonight.”

Watch the final nine laps below in the highlight video from the race.

The World of Outlaws continues its Pennsylvania swing at Lincoln Speedway and then Friday-Saturday at famed Williams Grove Speedway.

NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 15-Donny Schatz [6][$25,000]; 2. 57-Kyle Larson [3][$7,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [1][$5,000]; 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [7][$4,000]; 5. 41-David Gravel [5][$3,000]; 6. 2-Carson Macedo [2][$2,900]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [21][$2,800]; 8. 14-Parker Price-Miller [4][$2,700]; 9. 1S-Logan Schuchart [9][$2,600]; 10. 49X-Tim Shaffer [18][$2,500]; 11. 5-Brent Marks [8][$2,400]; 12. 15K-Chad Kemenah [14][$2,300]; 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser [19][$2,200]; 14. 2M-Kerry Madsen [10][$2,100]; 15. 83-Daryn Pittman [22][$2,000]; 16. 42-Sye Lynch [15][$1,500]; 17. 9-Kasey Kahne [16][$1,300]; 18. 46-Michael Bauer [23][$1,200]; 19. 33M-Mason Daniel [25][$]; 20. 18-Gio Scelzi [13][$1,200]; 21. 3-Jac Haudenschild [20][$1,200]; 22. 11-Carl Bowser [26][$]; 23. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [12][$1,200]; 24. 2C-Wayne Johnson [24][$1,200]; 25. 1A-Jacob Allen [11][$1,200]; 26. 55-Hunter Schuerenburg [17][$1,200]; Lap Leaders: Brad Sweet 1-6, 28-32, 34-39; Donny Schatz 7-27, 33, 40.

How IndyCar rookie Sting Ray Robb got that name (and some more of his backstory)

IndyCar Sting Ray Robb
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Every NTT IndyCar Series season brings a new round of getting to know the rookies, and it’s fairly obvious where the story starts with Sting Ray Robb.

Just for clarification, “Robb” is the last name. His given name indeed is “String Ray” on the birth certificate.

Why, yes, he does come from performance-car parentage.

And yes, the IndyCar rookie named “Sting Ray” will be driving the No. 51 Dallara-Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware.

How did that go over with a mom and dad who clearly prefer American automotive brands?

“That’s a tricky question,” Robb said with a laugh Tuesday during the IndyCar Preseason Content Days. “Yeah, my parents are big Corvette fans, and I think that they ruled out criticizing me too badly because they know the dream is IndyCar.”

“I’ll be in a Honda car and I’m assuming it’ll go pretty quick, so I’m OK with all of that.”

“They’re not going to rename you ‘NSX’ or something?” asked Motorsport.com’s David Malsher-Lopez (whose bitingly sardonic wit is regularly heard in IndyCar media centers).

“No. I hope not,” Robb said. “My name is my name. I don’t need a rename, thank you.”

Robb, 21, has been making a name for himself lately, finishing second in last year’s Indy NXT standings with 11 top-five finishes, eight podiums and two pole positions.

But the Payette, Idaho, native also has an intriguing backstory beyond his successful four years in the Road to Indy ladder system (that also included the 2020 Indy Pro title).

He hails from the same small town (northwest of Boise on the Oregon border) that produced Minnesota Twins slugger and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.

Robb, whose graduating class was less than 100, recently found that Wikipedia listed him and Killebrew as the “notable alumni” from Payette High School.

“It’s nice to be see and appreciate all the things that I’ve learned and been through,” said Robb, who also played some baseball in his day, adding that “I’m more of a consistent singles hitter, slap hitter if you want to call it. No home runs, just doubles or triples here and there.”

Some other facts on the newest memorable name of IndyCar:

–He’s managed by Pieter Rossi (father of Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner), but he also gets a lot of help from his mother, Kimmie.

“We call her my ‘momager’ because she’s my mom and my manager,” Robb said. “She has been a huge role in my career because she does things that I’m unable to do as a driver.

“She’s able to play hardball with the contracts, etc., and have my best interest in mind when it comes to negotiating, along with Pieter. He may be someone that has a lot of experience in the series with Alexander, but he may not know what’s best for me. It’s good to have them both on my side, and I can learn a lot from them.”

–His family have been lifelong supporters since go-karting. “It was my mom, my dad, my grandparents on the road every weekend,” he said. “My dad has missed one race in my entire life, and it was because he was in the hospital. So we let him have a pass, and he was still on the phone every 30 minutes making sure that tire pressure was right, engine temp was right, we had the right gear on the car, etc.”

–Robb graduated high school a year early to focus on racing after being home-schooled as a child. “I went to someone’s house actually, and she taught me from the time I was in pre-K through sixth grade,” Robb said. “So in seventh grade I started going to public school, and I hate to say it, but I feel like I stopped learning after that point. But it was OK. I got some social skills, lucky for you guys.”

–He also has a wild story about how he landed his current ride during a random encounter in a trip to the gym (which you can read about here).