Larson Dominates, Holds Off Late Charge to Claim First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Win
Kyle Larson made his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start of the 2013 season and completed a dominating effort at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday afternoon in the NC Education Lottery 200 presented by Cheerwine. Starting from the third position, Larson pushed his No. 30 Autism Speaks Chevy Silverado to the lead on lap 18 and never looked back. Leading a race-high 187 laps, Larson held off a last-lap charge by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Joey Logano en route to his first NCWTS victory.
After the drop of the green flag, Larson moved forward from his starting position of third and overtook teammate James Buescher for the lead on lap 18. Telling crew chief Trent Owens over the radio that he was really pleased with the handling of his Autism Speaks Silverado, Larson led until the first round of pit stops on lap 65. Taking four tires and no adjustments, Larson's Turner Scott Motorsports pit crew performed a quick pit stop to help maintain his first-place position.
Conserving his equipment throughout the mid-portion of the event, Larson continued to hold a comfortable lead over the remainder of the NCWTS field. Larson's only radio communication to Owens and his No. 30 Autism Speaks crew was to report that he was very pleased with his Silverado and was just running a smooth race to the finish. The third caution of the day provided the opportunity for Larson to come down pit road for a second time, with his pit crew once again getting him back out in the lead.
An extended green-flag run following the third pit stop under caution on lap 145 allowed Larson to stretch his lead until the final caution came out with three laps remaining, setting up an intense green-white-checkered finish. When the green flag was displayed once again, Larson and the Autism Speaks Silverado got a great restart on the rest of the field. Second-place Logano mounted a charge with help from much fresher tires, but Larson and was able to fend him off to take the checkered flag. The win marked Larson's first career NASCAR national series triumph.
"It feels good to finally get my first NASCAR national series win, especially at a place like Rockingham Speedway," Larson explained. "It's even more special today with Autism Speaks on our Turner Scott Motorsports Silverado, and I'm really proud to carry Trent's son Gray to victory lane with us. We had a really great Silverado all day long, and I can't thank this No. 30 team enough for putting together this effort. In the past, as soon as I get my first win, it really helps with my momentum. This win means a lot to me and to this team, and hopefully the momentum will carry over to our Nationwide Series effort to run for the championship this season."
"This win means so much on a lot of different levels," said crew chief Trent Owens. "It's special to get my first win with Kyle since we'll be running together all year in Nationwide, and it's going to definitely help our momentum. But I can't even begin to describe how special it is to get this win with Autism Speaks on our Chevy Silverado, and I can't thank our owners Harry Scott Jr. and Steve Turner enough for making this possible and putting my son's name on the door. This is definitely a race I will never forget."