He did so by making a low-percentage pass in the last segment of the race over his teammate Chase Elliott and then Brad Keselowski. The pass he made became the subject of all the conversation that followed. It produced an ending to the multi-segmented race that was worthy of watching. It was like the time Kurt Bush and Ricky Craven came across the line banging fenders and crashing. It was like the time Carl Edwards passed Jimmy Johnson on the outside coming to the finish line at Atlanta. There are a number of similar finishes that, when all is said and done, make the show worth watching. For racing to be entertaining it needs action, the kind of action that is unexpected, daring and, at times, breathtaking. The most common of these finishes in recent years has involved crashing or the second-place car spinning the leader out in the last turn. All good, but real racing, daring moves and spectacular performances by a driver, trump all other finishes! Larsen gave us that in last week’s All-Star race and it made up for the earlier segments of the show where the front row starters won all the time. One finish, one segment of six, defined the whole evening and so it is in sports. Larsen now has four wins this year with three being point races. Since early May Larsen has not finished worse than second in CUP competition and the rest of the NASCAR world is taking note. Mostly he has had to beat his teammates who, one might guess, are tired of this reality. Kyle Larsen is the favorite to win again this weekend when the NASCAR clan assembles in Nashville for the first time since 2011. It is a tight, cement-surface, slippery track of 1.3 miles in length. Racing stopped there at the end of the 2011 season when NASCAR trucks and Xfinity cars were on the docket. The track is owned by the folks who also own Dover Downs International Speedway. It is likely that this weekend will be a huge success. Whether or not the track can sustain attendance over the years remans be determined.
The All-Star race weekend at Texas also saw John Hunter Nemechek win the truck race on Saturday morning over Chase Elliott in a rare truck appearance, Ross Chastain, Grant Enfinger and Austin Hill. Chastain was later sent to last for an illegal part on his truck. Kyle Busch scored his 99th Xfinity win on Saturday beating Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric and Daniel Hemric. Busch once said that he would stop racing in the Xfinity series when he achieved 100 wins. We will see if that is still his plan. The Sunday All Star affair had a three-tier non-qualifiers race where Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain and Aric Almirola won each time and advanced to the All-Star final. The last starting spot in the final was the result of a fan popularity contest where Matt DiBenedetto was added to the race. Most of the press types thought Bubba Wallace would get the fan vote. He did not. Following Larsen across the line for the $1,000,000 to win-win were Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. That is two Rick Hendrick Chevys and three Roger Penske Fords in the top five. Alex Bowman, William Byron, Aric Almirola. Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch made up the top ten. All three divisions race in Nashville this weekend.
The Indy Cars raced on a special street course in Bell Isle, Detroit last weekend in two separate races. Marcus Ericsson won on Saturday to become the fourth different winner in the series in four races. He beat Rinus VeeKay, Pato O’Ward, Takuma Sato and the lone American, Graham Rahal in the 70-lap grind. Ericsson was driving a Chip Ganassi Honda powered Dallara. On Sunday Pato O” Ward became the first repeat winner in 2021 defeating long-time race leader Josef Newgarden whose tire strategy and resultant wear enabled O’Ward to slip by for the win. Both were wheeling Chevy powered cars. Alex Palou, Colton Herta and Rahal completed the top five. During the race, a stuck throttle that was dramatically captured on the in-car camera of Felix Rosenqvist showing the Swedish driver slam hard into the tire walls and out of contention. Rosenqvist was transported to the local hospital and later released. The Indy Cars appear at Road America this weekend on the longest road course in the series in what has traditionally been a good race.
The National Hot Rod Association [NHRA] was in New England where Steve Torrence continued his winning ways in the top fuel dragster class. He was joined in the winner’s circle by John Force who won for the second time this year in his top fuel funny car. Torrence defeated Mike Salinas in the final while Force beat his company President Robert Hight in the last round.
Kyle Larsen followed up his NASCAR All-Star win on Sunday with an All-Star Series win in his winged sprint car on Monday night increasing his weekend earnings to $1,006,000.
Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway’s next sprint car event is set for Sunday July 4th. The program will offer a firework show as an added attraction. The track will race again on July 23rd, August 20th, September 4,5,8,9,10, 11 and close out on October 1 and 2. Marysville Speedway will have races on the dirt oval track there June 26, July 2, 10, 17, 24, and 31. In August Marysville Speedway will have auto races on the 7th and 28th. The three-night Dwarf Car nationals are slated for September 23,24 and 25. The track ends the year October 23 and 30.
Shasta Speedway in Anderson at the Fairgrounds is listing their first race event of 2021 as this Saturday night on the paved quarter mile track. It offers a multi-class program starting at 6pm. I would call the Fair at 530-678-6789 to confirm the schedule and times.
I was unable to confirm the schedule for Orland Fairgrounds Speedway via a social media search. There was no schedule and the 865 number I called was not correct. Cycle Land runs every Saturday night south of Chico on highway 99.
Thunderhill will open for spectators soon if you want to come on down highway 162 and visit the track. The American Federation of Motorcyclists race on the weekend of June 26-27 and always provide a great show. The AFM charges $12 to get in for adults over 16. END