by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
Sometimes, you have to sit back, and appreciate what you are witnessing. Tonight was one of those nights at Attica Raceway Park as the World of Outlaws rolled into town for the Kistler Engines Classic. It was the first stop of the year in the Buckeye State for the Outlaws, and 41 drivers made the call to put on a show in front of a packed house. Only one could stand on the horse track after the checkers flew, and tonight, it was Kyle Larson’s night.
It would be Logan Schuchart and Kyle Larson on the front row of the 40 lap feature as the green flew. Schuchart and Larson were side-by-side through turns one and two and down the backstretch, but Larson dove underneath Schuchart going into turns three and four for the lead, as Carson Macedo put his sights on Schuchart.
By lap three, Larson had almost a straightaway lead over the battling Schuchart and Macedo. On lap six, Macedo got by the Shark Racing 1S car and established himself in second as Larson approached lapped traffic. On the next circuit, Larson was in lapped traffic, Schuchart was once again battling Macedo for second, and David Gravel and Sheldon Haudenschild were battling for fourth.
The action came to a stop though on lap 11 for David Gravel, who blew a right rear. On the ensuing restart, Larson chose the top lane, which put Macedo under him. Larson got the jump, though, and rocketed out to a comfortable lead, about one second by lap 14. Lap 18 came around, and once again, Larson found himself in traffic, as Buddy Kofoid started to look sporty in the sixth spot. The yellow came out for the second time on lap 21 for defending Brad Doty Classic winner Spencer Bayston.
On this restart, Larson chose the bottom lane, and it made no difference, as he was able to race away from Macedo, and Sweet. Larson had over a second lead erased on lap 25 as the caution came out once again. This restart is where Macedo would be closest to taking the lead. Macedo was able to show a nose to Larson going into turns one and two, but Larson powered away down the backstretch.
Larson had another lead built to over a second when another caution came out on lap 28, this time for a spinning Ian Madsen. Sweet bobbled on the restart, allowing Larson and Macedo to get away, and put 19th starting Jacob Allen up to fourth momentarily. Three laps later, the yellow came out once again for David Gravel. This would be the final restart of the night.
Nothing changed on the restart, and Larson was able to easily pull away from his fellow Californian as James McFadden worked his way into third. Larson built about a two second lead as he approached traffic on lap 36, and would cruise to a 1.415 second win over Carson Macedo and James McFadden.
“My car felt really good all night,” Larson said post race. “I was able to get by Logan [Schuchart] at the start of the race and set my own pace. The cautions fell at good times for me to be able to get out of traffic and be able to see where I was going.”
“It’s always good to lead at Attica because it gets so dusty and hard to see. We’ll try to do it again at the Doty,” Larson concluded.