Larson Lands Summer Nationals Win at Ohsweken

By Clayton Johns, OHSWEKEN, Ont. (July 24, 2017) – An impressive 117 cars singed in across four divisions to compete in Ohsweken Speedway’s Burger Barn Northern Summer Nationals, including 31 cars in the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car field which featured NASCAR star Kyle Larson.

When the checkered flag waved, it was Larson who claimed the win after a spectacular duel with Parker Price-Miller.

Kyle Larson started on the front row with Mitch Brown for the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car main event. Many had Larson, an Elk Grove, Calif. native pegged to lead flag-to-flag, but Brown quickly changed the conversation when he led the opening lap.

Third-starting Parker Price-Miller of Kokomo, Ind. quickly made it a three-car battle for the lead while Larson retook the point on lap two. Price-Miller drove low into turn one and slid up in front of Larson in turn two to take the lead only to have Larson turn back underneath and lead on corner exit. Price-Miller didn’t make the same mistake twice as he executed a slidejob in turn four to take the lap three lead.

“I knew he’d be good,” Larson said of Price-Miller in Victory Lane. “I’ve watched videos of him and he’s been really good here. His car had a lot of grip all night. I knew he’d be the one I’d have to beat. He got to the lead really quick and was ripping really hard up top.”

From there, the dynamic top two pulled away from the rest of the field and worked into traffic by lap seven. On lap nine, both cars were caught behind slower traffic and had to alter their preferred lines. Price-Miller ran the top wherever possible, while Larson stumbled upon a fast bottom lane.

“ It started getting really slick and slow off four and I actually made a mistake on the backstretch and ran the bottom on accident because I almost clipped the wall,” Larson said. “I gained time on him so I was like ‘okay, we can run down there’. Once we got to traffic I was able to work it and get by him on the bottom.”

Larson made what ultimately turned out to be the winning pass in traffic when he returned the slidejob in turn two and took the lead from Price-Miller for good. He was able to pull away on lap 16 when Price-Miller missed his entry into turn three in the top groove, but the lapped traffic forced Larson to remain sharp.

Larson took the white flag out in front of the field and raced down the backstretch to the checkered flag, but the caution waved for the first time before he could claim the win when Tom Huppunen spun at the top of turn three. A one-lap dash settled the finish and Larson ran the top perfectly to claim the win.

“It’s an awesome racetrack,” Larson said. “This is one of the most fun tracks I’ve been to. It’s super slick, technical. The moisture was basically off the track, so you had to find that. I had a lot of fun racing with Parker.”

Price-Miller, the reigning Canadian Sprint Car Nationals winner after his victory last September, was happy with his second-place finish but was clear he aspired to beat the NASCAR star. Price-Miller returned to action in the Hill’s Racing No.67x after he was involved in a wreck on Friday night where he suffered a minor injury to his wrist.

“I really wanted that one just because Kyle’s the best there is out there and it would be really cool to beat him,” Price-Miller said. “My guys gave me a great car and they fixed a lot of stuff from Friday night. I’m still a little soar and my arm kind of gets banged up racing, but you don’t think about it. It’s still a good night, but I like to win. We’re always good at Ohsweken, so we’ll try again tomorrow with the 410.”

On the final lap, the battle for third shook up the finish. Brewerton, NY driver and current Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint point leader Jason Barney restarted in third, but was involved in contact with Dylan Westbrook in turn one. Barney suffered a flat tire and damaged wheel, but limped the car to a ninth-place finish.

Westbrook was able to avoid serious contact and finished third. With the third-place finish, the Scotland, Ont. teenager’s six-race win streak at Ohsweken was snapped.

“I’m not sure if he caught the wall first or if he slowed down real quick and I couldn’t get on the brakes quick enough to get around him,” Westbrook said of the last lap collision. “It kind of sucks. I think he probably would have beat us, but it’s still good to come home in third.”

Westbrook is now set to make his first start with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series Wednesday night.

“I’m really excited. It’s going to be my first time ever in a 410,” Westbrook said. “It’s going to be a really cool experience, so we’ll have some fun with it and hope for the best.”

Brown finished in fourth while Bradford, Pa’s Jared Zimbardi rounded out the top-five. Ryan Susice was the Hard Charger of the race. He advanced from the dead last starting position, 24th, to finish 6th.

Larson, Price-Miller, Danny Lasoski of Dover, Mo. and Ryan Coniam of Denver, Co. earned heat race wins and Max Johnston of Sydney, Australia won the B-Main.

A-Feature (25 laps – No Time)
Finish. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 57 Kyle Larson (1); 2. 67x Parker Price-Miller (3); 3. 47x Dylan Westbrook (9); 4. 10 Mitch Brown (2); 5. 35 Jared Zimabrdi (7); 6. 18 Ryan Susice (24); 7. 98 Joe Trenca (15); 8. 14h Jim Huppunen (6); 9. 87 Jason Barney (5); 10. 5w Ryan Coniam (4); 11. 3r Shane Ross (22); 12. 91 Ryan Turner (17); 13. 0 Max Johnston (21); 14. 01k Mikey Kruchka (12); 15. 67c Steve Collins (23); 16. 17x Dain Naida (10); 17. 77x Alex Hill (19); 18. 27z Stan Zanchin (18); 19. 21 Tom Huppunen (13); 20. 1-10 Jake Brown (20); 21. 9 Steve Lyons (16); 22. 38 Tyler Hendricks (14); 23. 49 Scott Kreutter (11); 24. 49x Danny Lasoski (8). A-Feature Lap Leaders – Mitch Brown 1; Kyle Larson 2, 16-25; Parker Price-Miller 3-15; Hard Charger – Ryan Susice (+18 – 24th to 6th)

Lucas Oil Products Heat Race No.1 (8 laps – Time: 2:03.088)
Finish. # Name, Hometown (Starting Position)
1. 57 Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA (1); 2. 17x Dain Naida, Tecumseh, MI (2); 3. 47x Dylan Westbrook, Oakland, ON (5); 4. 87 Jason Barney, Brewerton, NY (8); 5. 77x Alex Hill, Six Nations, ON (3); 6. 0 Max Johnston, Sydney, NSW, AUS (4); 7. 3r Shane Ross, Thedford, ON (6); 8. 18 Ryan Susice, Ransomville, NY (7).

Creative Edge Signs & Graphics Heat Race No.2 (8 laps – Time: 2:07.603)
Finish. # Name, Hometown (Starting Position)
1. 49x Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (4); 2. 49 Scott Kreutter, Alden, NY (2); 3. 14h Jim Huppunen, Fenwick, ON (7); 4. 35 Jared Zimbardi, Bradford, PA (8); 5. 1-10 Jake Brown, Brantford, ON (3); 6. 18h Brad Herron, Burford, ON (1); 7. 11 Jamie Turner, Caistor Centre, ON (6); 8. 90 Travis Cunningham, Grimsby, ON (5)

O’Neil’s Farm Equipment Heat Race No.3 (8 laps – Time: 2:12.244)
Finish. # Name, Hometown (Starting Position)
1. 5w Ryan Coniam, Denver, CO (2); 2. 21 Tom Huppunen, Fenwick, ON (1); 3. 38 Tyler Hendricks, Pain Court, ON (3); 4. 98 Joe Trenca, Clay, NY (4); 5. 91 Ryan Turner, Caistor Centre, ON (5); 6. 67c Steve Collins, Belfast, NY (8); 7. 00 Dane Lorenc, Lancaster, NY (6); 8. 97 Cory Turner, Caistor Centre, ON (7).

Burger Barn Heat Race No.4 (8 laps – Time: 2:07.009)
Finish. # Name, Hometown (Starting Position)
1. 67x Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (4); 2. 01K Mikey Kruchka, Hamilton, ON (2); 3. 10 Mitch Brown, Brantford, ON (7); 4. 9 Steve Lyons, Carlisle, ON (1); 5. 27z Stan Zanchin, Fort Erie, ON (5); 6. 15 Mike Ferrell, London, ON (3); 7. DNS 2w Lee Winger, Mount Hope, ON (6)

B-Feature (10 laps – NT)
Finish. # Name (Starting Position)
1. 0 Max Johnston (6); 2. 3r Shane Ross (9); 3. 67c Steve Collins (1); 4. 18 Ryan Susice (12); 5. 97 Cory Turner (13); 6. 00 Dane Lorenc (11); 7. 11 Jamie Turner (10); 8. 90 Travis Cunningham (14); 9. 18h Brad Herron (8); 10. 15 Mike Ferrell (7); 11. DNS 2w Lee Winger (15)

Ackland Insurance “Top Gun” Award ($100): Danny Lasoski