For the second time in three tries, Elk Grove, California’s Kyle Larson is a Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires main event winner, scoring his second $6,000 payday of the last 48 hours during action at the high banks of Waynesfield Raceway Park in Waynesfield, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 16.
Leading all but one circuit of the 35-lapper to solidify a 26th-career FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory, Larson’s Waynesfield triumph was a first-ever, forced to fend off mid-race challenges by fellow California-native and second row starter, Rico Abreu. In all, Larson now owns three All Star Circuit of Champions victories in 2021, the first occurring at Williams Grove Speedway during the annual Hinnershitz Classic on April 16, followed by his Speedweek win at Wayne County on Monday. In addition, Larson is the first repeat winner of the 39th running of Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
Rico Abreu held on to finish second at Waynesfield Raceway Park, followed by Tyler Courtney, Parker Price-Miller, and Zeb Wise.
“Really cool to get another win. A huge thanks to all of our partners at Folkens Brothers Trucking, MAVTV, Durst, Tarlton and Sons, JVI Group, Finley Farms, Glenn Styres Racing; there’s a lot of people that help out Paul (Silva) and we appreciate their support,” Kyle Larson said in victory lane. “Rico made me earn that one. What an awesome race track. I love Waynesfield. This is definitely my favorite Ohio track. I think this is my first wing win here. I think I finished second a couple of times with a wing on and once without a wing. We’re going to head to Nashville now and try to get a win on Sunday.”
Utilizing the outside-pole position to earn the early advantage, Larson jumped to a comfortable lead almost immediately, ripping the cushion at both ends of the speedway before gaping his fellow frontrunners by a near-straightaway. Larson’s quick pace found the back of the field by lap seven, but a caution on lap ten would ultimately negate his dealings with lapped traffic. Meanwhile, Abreu had already powered himself to second, taking the position officially with a slider over Cale Thomas on lap three.
The ensuing restart allowed Larson to return to his comfortable pace around the very top of the speedway, testing the grip at the bottom of turn two occasionally. By lap 15, Abreu was on the move, using every inch of the speedway to drive himself to the back bumper of Larson. The St. Helena, California-native made his move the following lap, using a run off of turn two to power under Larson by the exit of turn four.
Not deterred by the move, Larson returned the favor the following circuit, using a slider through turns three and four to reclaim command by the time the pair made it back to the flagstand. By that time, the leaders had already found themselves in heavy traffic, which ultimately worked in Larson’s favor. Within a handful of circuits, Larson was able to place two to three lapped cars between himself and Abreu.
A caution on lap 29 would reset the field creating clean air and an open track for Larson; he would go on unchallenged.
“That was fun racing; a fun track and a great crowd,” said Rico Abreu, driver of the Rico Abreu/Curb Agajanian Racing/Rowdy Energy/Curb Records/Lucas Oil Products/Self Made/No. 24 sprint car. “I felt like I was respectful everywhere, and I could make up some time on Larson in three and four when I would hit it right. You had to run that seam and catch the moisture coming off and not get too high up where the track shelved off really bad. Hats off to my guys. They’ve been busting their butts.”
With his third-place finish, “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney claims the Ohio Sprint Speedweek championship points lead, earning a 16-point advantage over Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-native and Sharon Speedway winner, Danny Dietrich; Dietrich finished 17th in the Waynesfield main.
Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires will continue on Thursday evening, June 17, at Muskingum County Speedway in Dresden, Ohio. The event will award a $6,000 payday.
Wednesday Night Waynesfield Results
1. 57-Kyle Larson
2. 24-Rico Abreu
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney
4. 19-Parker Price-Miller
5. 10-Zeb Wise
6. 26-Cory Eliason
7. 13-Justin Peck
8. 49X-Cale Thomas
9. 5-Paul McMahan
10. 4-Cap Henry
11. 97-Craig Mintz
12. 22C-Cole Duncan
13. 22H-Jac Haudenschild
14. 28-Tim Shaffer
15. 11-Spencer Bayston
16. 18-Cole Macedo
17. 48-Danny Dietrich
18. 17B-Bill Balog
19. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
20. 16-DJ Foos
21. 101-Lachlan McHugh
22. 3C-Cale Conley
23. 1-Nate Dussel
24. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg
25. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson (1-15), Rico Abreu (16), Kyle Larson (17-35)
Another one 🥇
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) June 17, 2021