ATTICA, Ohio – Up until Tuesday night, the Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic presented by Racing Optics was one of a quickly-shrinking list of sprint car crown jewels that Kyle Larson had yet to conquer.
Larson rectified that with an utterly dominant performance at Attica Raceway Park, leading from start to finish in the Silva Motorsports No. 57 for his fourth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win of the year and banking $10,000 in the process.
The Elk Grove, Calif., native foreshadowed his wire-to-wire run in the 40-lap Doty main event with a similar show of speed in the DIRTvision Fast Pass Dash, winning by nearly five seconds in eight laps to earn the pole position for the feature.
It was pretty much game, set and match after that.
Despite five cautions – including two incidents that necessitated red-flag stoppages for flips – Larson drove away every time the green lights clicked on all night long at the third-mile, banked clay oval.
His last sterling effort came on a final restart with four laps left, where Larson powered out to a 1.253-second victory over 10-time Outlaw champion and race-long runner-up Donny Schatz.
It marked the 22nd overall victory for Larson between sprint cars and midgets in 2020, as well as the 12th of his Outlaw career, tying him with Tim Green, Tyler Walker, Don Kreitz Jr. and the late Jason Johnson on the all-time list.
Larson has now finished no worse than sixth in his last 30 dirt-track starts, dating back to May 30.
“This car was really good. It was really nice in the Dash – I could look back and see they were a half-track behind me – so I knew we had a good car,” said Larson in victory lane. “They watered it before the feature, and it took a little bit to get blown off back to the top, but I felt good still. It was just when I’d get within a straightaway of lap traffic that I couldn’t see the cushion and would make mistakes.”
The only nervous moments that Larson had were on lap 12, when he drove over the banking down the backstretch and still made a three-wide pass to lap two slower cars, and inside of 10 to go when he was held up by a side-by-side battle in traffic that allowed Schatz to make one quick run at him for the lead.
“I thought I could cheat the corner and slide myself, and I didn’t feel very good doing that, and then I saw Donny show his nose a couple times late … so I knew I was in trouble,” he added. “That was when I needed to get aggressive to get by those two cars (Mason Daniel and TJ Michael), and once I did that I felt like I strung a few good, consistent laps back together.
“Then the last caution came out and I was able to relax with a single-file restart,” Larson noted. “Once again, another really good car. That’s three Outlaw wins in a row for us too, which is really special.”
While Larson was laying waste to the field out front, chaos back in the field completely shook up the World of Outlaws championship race and opened the door for a whole new title fight to take place.
It began on lap three, when defending Outlaw champion Brad Sweet looped his No. 49 after trying to avoid the similarly-spinning car of Tyler Courtney. Sweet previously raced his way into the show through the Last Chance Showdown following an engine failure in his Drydene heat race.
Sweet’s troubles continued on lap 17, when contact between Logan Schuchart and Kerry Madsen sparked a multi-car melee that ended in Sweet flipping down the frontstretch. His Kasey Kahne Racing team was able to make repairs and get him back on track, but with a wounded race car.
The final nail in the coffin was the fifth and last caution of the main event, when Sweet slowed with a flat right-rear tire that sent him to the pits for good and left him with a 23rd-place finish.
Combined with Schatz finishing second to Larson, it leaves Sweet with just a two-point advantage heading into the back half of the World of Outlaws sprint car season.
Sheldon Haudenschild outdueled his father, Hall of Famer Jac Haudenschild, to complete the podium Tuesday night, with Logan Schuchart coming up to split the father-son duo by finishing fourth.
Daryn Pittman, Carson Macedo, Parker Price-Miller, David Gravel and Craig Mintz filled out the top 10.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.