The final scene for Round 2 of the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown couldn’t have been scripted any better.

NASCAR’s newest sensation – Kyle Larson – outlasted sprint car veterans Stevie Smith and Danny Lasoski in an epic duel on the dirt Saturday at Cocopah Speedway, which hosts the midpoint of the five-race event next Tuesday.

“It ranks right up there mainly because I haven’t been in a sprint car in a long time,” Larson said after securing the $12,000-to-win top prize. “To beat Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith in a duel like that was pretty amazing. I think it’s a great event. It’s a great race track. The purse is really good. I think this event will grow each year.”

Larson chased polesitter Aaron Reutzel for the first half of the 30-lap feature before misfortune struck in Reutzel’s second career 410ci sprint car event. After powering to the cushion in turn one on a Lap 16 restart, Reutzel’s top wing appeared to buckle, forcing his car out of shape before coming to a stop next to the wall.

That gave Larson the lead, but on the ensuing restart Lasoski executed a slide job in turns one and two to take the top spot. As Larson stayed within striking distance for the next few laps, Smith found grip at the bottom of the track, which started to propel him closer to the front with a dozen laps remaining.

Larson repaid the favor to Lasoski with a slide job for the lead in turns one and two with approximately eight laps remaining. Smith capitalized on Lasoski being slowed down and he vaulted into second place exiting turn two before stealing the lead in turn four.

“I slid (Lasoski) for the lead and I thought if I could clear him I’d be ok and then Stevie was to my inside and slid me in the next corner,” Larson said. “It was kinda game on from there. He was really good on the bottom and I was pretty good up top.”

Smith and Larson nearly touched in turn two the following lap before the final six circuits were tight in traffic.

Larson moved around Smith on the backstretch with six laps remaining before Smith regained the lead in turn four.

Three laps later Larson slid Smith in turns three and four, but the veteran remained within a car length before throwing a last-ditch slide job of his own in turns three and four coming to the checkered flag. Larson stayed in the throttle on the cushion to power around Smith exiting the final turn of the race.

“It was a lot of fun,” Smith said. “We really wanted to win that race, but Kyle just, he didn’t give up and he earned it. We were just going back and forth and kinda just going where the other car wasn’t. When you get down to those last couple of laps and everybody is side by side you’re just going where the opening is and just feeling your way around.”

Lasoski finished third to mark his second straight podium result. He ranks third in the unofficial Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown points standings – only three markers behind Smith and fourth-place finisher Joey Saldana.

“I hope the fans enjoyed it,” Lasoski said. “The track crew did a great job. We had options. If your car was good and your mechanics did their job and the drivers did their job you could put on a great show and I think the fans saw that.”

David Gravel rounded out the top five. Ryan Smith rallied from 19th to a sixth-place result to earn the Hard Charger Award. Christopher Bell ended seventh and Craig Dollansky was eighth. Paul McMahan, the B Main winner and Friday’s inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown victor, maneuvered from 17th to ninth place with Dale Blaney finishing 10th.

NASCAR star Kasey Kahne missed recording his second straight top-10 result by one position.

Smith, Gravel, Reutzel and Bell won heat races with Kahne, Steve Kinser, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Reutzel picking up qualifier wins.

The Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown continues next Tuesday with Opening Ceremonies at 7 p.m. Fans can order live Pay-Per-View video by visitinghttp://www.SPEEDSPORT.tv/live.

-Inside Line Promotions Press Release.  Photo Credit: Joe Orth Photo

JAN. 3 RESULTS –

Heat Race 1 (8 laps): 1. 51s-Stevie Smith (2); 2. 7-Craig Dollansky (3); 3. 57-Dale Blaney (6); 4. 42-Kyle Larson (8); 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 6. 2l-Logan Forler (7); 7. 99-Skylar Gee (4); 8. 21-Brian Brown (1).

Heat Race 2 (8 laps): 1. 83-David Gravel (2); 2. 26-Joey Saldana (4); 3. 51r-Freddie Rahmer (1); 4. 51-Paul McMahan (5); 5. 9-Kasey Kahne (6); 6. 11-Steve Kinser (7); 7. 98-Matt Jensen (8); 8. 77x-Wayne Johnson (DNS).

Heat Race 3 (8 laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel (1); 2. 3c-Willie Croft (3); 3. 1s-Logan Schuchart (4); 4. 11c-Roger Crockett (8); 5. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (2); 6. 1a-Jacob Allen (5); 7. 9r-Reece Goetz (7); 8. 88n-D.J. Netto (6).

Heat Race 4 (8 laps): 1. 31b-Christopher Bell (2); 2. 94-Ryan Smith (4); 3. 33-Danny Lasoski (7); 4. 82-Dusty Zomer (3); 5. 11k-Kraig Kinser (6); 6. 22-Mason Moore (5); 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam (1).

Qualifier 1 (10 laps): 1. 9-Kasey Kahne (2); 2. 42-Kyle Larson (4); 3. 33-Danny Lasoski (6); 4. 26-Joey Saldana (3); 5. 1s-Logan Schuchart (3); 6. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (6); 7. Matt Jensen (DNS); 8. D.J. Netto (DNS).

Qualifier 2 (10 laps): 1. 11-Steve Kinser (1); 2. 11k-Kraig Kinser (2); 3. 51-Freddie Rahmer (3); 4. 51s-Stevie Smith (6); 5. 11c-Roger Crockett (4); 6. 94-Ryan Smith (5); 7. 9r-Reece Goetz (7); 8. 21-Brian Brown (DNS).

Qualifier 3 (10 laps): 1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 2. 7-Craig Dollansky (4); 3. 51-Paul McMahan (3); 4. 83-David Gravel (6); 5. 57-Dale Blaney (5); 6. 1a-Jacob Allen (1); 7. 99-Skylar Gee (7).

Qualifier 4 (10 laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel (5); 2. 82-Dusty Zomer (3); 3. 3c-Willie Croft (4); 4. 31b-Christopher Bell (6); 5. 2l-Logan Forler (2); 6. 22-Mason Moore (1); 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam (DNS).

B Main (15 laps/8 transfer): 1. 51-Paul McMahan (3); 2. 11-Steve Kinser (2); 3. 94-Ryan Smith (1); 4. 1s-Logan Schuchart (4); 5. 22-Mason Moore (8); 6. 2l-Logan Forler (5); 7. 1a-Jacob Allen (7); 8. 9r-Reece Goetz (8); 9. 99-Skylar Gee (9); 10. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (DNS); 11. 98-Matt Jensen (DNS); 12. 33v-Henry Van Dam (DNS); 13. 88n-D.J. Netto (DNS); 14. 21-Brian Brown (DNS).

A Main (30 laps): 1. 42-Kyle Larson (3); 2. 51s-Stevie Smith (5); 3. 33-Danny Lasoski (2); 4. 26-Joey Saldana (9); 5. 83-David Gravel (6); 6. 94-Ryan Smith (19); 7. 31b-Christopher Bell (7); 8. 7-Craig Dollansky (4); 9. 51-Paul McMahan (17); 10. 57-Dale Blaney (13); 11. 9-Kasey Kahne (10); 12. 82-Dusty Zomer (12); 13. 51r-Freddie Rahmer (16); 14. 11c-Roger Crockett (15); 15. 3c-Willie Croft (8); 16. 11k-Kraig Kinser (14); 17. 22-Mason Moore (21); 18. 1s-Logan Schuchart (20); 19. 2l-Logan Forler (22); 20. 9r-Reece Goetz (24); 21. 87-Aaron Reutzel (1); 22. 1a-Jacob Allen (23); 23. 11-Steve Kinser (18); 24. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (11).

(Top 24 in passing and finishing points in the heat races were inverted in the qualifiers. The top 16 in passing and finishing points following the qualifiers locked into the A Main.)

UNOFFICIAL POINTS AFTER ROUND 2 –

T1. 26-Joey Saldana 377; T1. 51s-Stevie Smith 377; 3. 33-Danny Lasoski 374; 4. 51-Paul McMahan 367; 5. 42-Kyle Larson 348; T6. 51r-Freddie Rahmer 335; T6. 11c-Roger Crockett 335; 8. 9-Kasey Kahne 330; 9. 31b-Christopher Bell 323; 10. 7-Craig Dollansky 321; 11. 83-David Gravel 320; 12. 3c-Willie Croft 315; 13. 87-Aaron Reutzel 304; T14. 57-Dale Blaney 301; T14. 1s-Logan Schuchart 301; T14. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 301; 17. 11k-Kraig Kinser 296; 18. 21-Brian Brown 288; 19. 94-Ryan Smith 386; T20. 82-Dusty Zomer 284; T20. 33v-Henry Van Dam 284; T20. 9r-Reece Goetz 284; 23. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson 281; 24. 11-Steve Kinser 280; 25. 2l-Logan Forler 268; 26. 22-Mason Moore 262; 27. 1a-Jacob Allen 252; 28. 99-Skylar Gee 237; 29. 88n-D.J. Netto 230; 30. 98-Matt Jensen 221; 31. 23-Seth Bergman 169; 32. 77x-Wayne Johnson 146; 33. 55-Bud Walberg 107; 34. 74x-Josh Hodges 105.

Larson Wins, Kinser Flips In Round Two of Winter Heat