BRANDON, S.D. — Kyle Larson’s two-month run of brilliance in dirt-track racing came to a screeching halt so suddenly Sunday night that it was almost as shocking as the streak itself.
But as the old saying goes, “All good things must come to an end eventually.”
Larson was finishing off a four-day weekend with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions during the $20,000-to-win Huset’s Speedway Grand Reopening, aiming for his eighth-straight feature victory with the All Stars and fourth in four nights.
He set fast time in qualifying by a wide margin, posting a lap of 10.843 seconds (124.504 mph) around the three-eighths-mile dirt track and outpacing the nearest competitor by three tenths of a second.
From there, however, things got murky in a hurry.
Larson started fourth in his heat race and only had to ride there in order to earn a spot in the dash redraw, thanks to the All Star format that rewards the fastest driver from qualifying who transfers through each individual heat race.
But Larson clipped the outside wall early in the second heat, coming to a stop with two laps of 10 complete.
After a right-rear tire change, Larson tagged the tail of the field, but it was starting lap four where his luck ranout, as he got high in turn one and flipped wildly before the Silva Motorsports No. 57 came to rest in a mangled heap.
The Elk Grove, Calif., native climbed from the car, but it was far too badly damaged to continue. Larson and team owner Paul Silva later made the decision to scratch for the remainder of the program.
Prior to Sunday’s stunner, Larson had amassed an incredible streak of success between sprint cars and midgets, posting 23 wins in 37 starts from May 30 through Aug. 1 — a span of 64 days.
During that time, he finished no worse than sixth in any of his dirt appearances, with a combined average finish of 1.838 and only five occasions where he wasn’t in the top three.
Included in Larson’s summer hot streak were USAC Indiana Midget Week and Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek championships, Ohio Sprint Speedweek wins, as well as a string of eight straight feature wins in June that included races with the All Star Circuit of Champions, World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and the USAC National Midget Series.
With one streak officially snapped, Larson is anticipated to begin his attempt at a new chapter of dominance during Ironman Weekend at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, Aug. 7-8 with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
He’s also the early favorite for The One and Only Weekend with the World of Outlaws at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway Aug. 13-15, which included the $50,000-to-win Brownell’s Capitani Classic at the half-mile Marion County Fairgrounds dirt track.
Larson won three features at Knoxville during his hot streak — two with the Outlaws in mid-June and one with the All Stars on Saturday night prior to his Huset’s Speedway crash.
For even more on Larson’s summer hot streak, check out the August edition of SPEED SPORT Magazine, which features an in-depth feature on Larson’s return to full-time dirt track racing and the ins and outs of his recent success in sprint cars and midgets.
That story will launch on SPEEDSPORT.com as a two-part feature on Aug. 4-5.