NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson kicked off a busy week in the Charlotte area Tuesday night by claiming the fast qualifier award for the Speed51 Open at Millbridge Speedway. Larson, driving the No. 1K Outlaw Kart, turned a fast lap of 9.8145 seconds to top the field in qualifying for Wednesday’s $5,151-to-win main event at the 1/6-mile Salisbury, NC oval.
Larson will compete in the Speed51 Open Wednesday night prior to competing in the Patriot Nationals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg Speedway over the next six days.
“I felt really good about my car,” Larson said. “I changed it up a lot compared what I typically ran here. I feel really good about it. I was able to run a really good lap there.”
Shortly after setting the fast time in qualifying, Larson strapped back into his kart for the $1,000 Cook Out Showdown. After starting third, he battled with early leader Caden Kvapil and made multiple challenges for the lead. Despite a few slide-job attempts, including two in which he slid up in front of Kvapil, Larson was unable to snag the lead for good.
In a dramatic conclusion, Larson ultimately finished second to eventual winner Chase Majdic after Majdic made a last-lap pass on Kvapil for the victory.
“I felt really good there in that feature,” Larson stated. “I just didn’t do a good job on the restarts there. I spun my tires and Chase (Majdic) was able to get to my inside and that was the race after that. Hopefully the track will be like that tomorrow.”
While Larson set the overall fast time for Wednesday’s 51-lap main event at Millbridge, it was Carson Kvapil setting fast time in Group A qualifying.
Wednesday’s heat races will be set based on qualifying results. Heat race and B-Main results will then set the feature lineup for the Speed51 Open.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – @Brandon_Paul
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley