Larson takes NCEL 200 at The Rock
presented by Cheerwine for first NCWTS victory
Rockingham, N.C. (April 14, 2013) - Kyle Larson dominated
Sunday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by
Cheerwine, but had to hold off a charging Joey Logano in a green-white-checker
finish to claim his first victory in the series.
"This means a lot to finally get a national (touring
series) victory," said Larson, who led twice for 187 laps in the scheduled
200-lap race at the 1-mile track. "I was pretty nervous that last restart
because I knew Joey was on a lot more newer tires than me. I'm not normally
good on restarts. I've been trying to work hard on that and, thankfully, it
paid off. I was able to beat him into (turn) one and hold on for the win."
Kyle Larson (No. 30) crosses the finish line 0.177 second
ahead of Joey Logano (No. 19) to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
at The Rock presented by Cheerwine. (photo credit: Tami Pope)
The green-white-checker finish, which extended the event to
205 laps, was set up when Timothy Peters and Ryan Sieg crashed on the track's
frontstretch with three laps remaining. After the yellow flag was displayed on
lap 199, Ron Hornaday clipped Darrell Wallace Jr. in response to an earlier
incident, turning him into the backstretch's outside wall. NASCAR is reviewing
When the race restarted on lap 204, Larson was leading and
Logano was second. Larson produced an excellent restart while Logano lagged and
that proved to be the difference as Larson defeated Logano by a mere 0.177
"I'm a little frustrated at myself right now,"
said Logano, who started seventh in the race that had four lead changes among
three drivers. "The last restart I was like, 'Man, this is perfect. It
played right into my hands.' I got beat. I spun 'em [the tires]. I was so mad
at myself. It's all my fault. I felt like we should have won this race. Maybe
we didn't have the truck to win, but we had the strategy to win."
claimed third, while point leader Johnny Sauter took fourth. Fifth went to
Chase Elliott. Jeb Burton, who earned the pole in qualifying three hours before
the race, placed seventh, making him the highest finishing rookie for the
second straight week. He now trails Sauter by 16 points in the standings.
Even though Larson's victory was his first in the truck
series, it wasn't his first venture at the storied track. Larson captured
NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East 2012 championship last November at the
"It was a great day. We didn't make any changes to the
truck," said Larson, who averaged 103.318 mph in the race that was slowed
by seven caution flags for 33 laps.
Crew chief Trent Owens, whose 5-year-old autistic son had
his name on the winning car, described the event as a "storybook
day"; one to be enjoyed by his son and the 20-year-old Larson.