Kyle Larson, Featured Racer at Placerville Speedway, in Question After Bad Wreck

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 21, 2016 / comments

Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown is Wednesday and local favorite Outlaw Kyle Larson is the featured racer at Placerville Speedway. Kyle Larson, a rising NASCAR star from Elk Grove, will compete with friend Brad Sweet.  When Kyle Larson was a youngster, long before he started racing, he watched Brad Sweet dominate the local Outlaw kart circuit.

Another local, Mark Billingsly, writes: "Larson and Sweet both will drive in Sweet’s annual Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown on Wednesday at Placerville Speedway. Sweet leads the World of Outlaws points chase and leads the series with three victories going into this weekend’s two races at the Stockton Dirt Track, and Larson is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings after a career-best seventh place at the 2016 Daytona 500 to start the season. Larson, who hasn’t raced in a 410 cubic-inch sprint car on the West Coast in more than a year, is looking forward to returning to the track where he celebrated his first career sprint car victory."

"PLACERVILLE IS WHERE I GOT MY FIRST WIN (IN 2007). IT WAS A CIVIL WAR SERIES EVENT, AND THAT TRACK WILL ALWAYS BE A SPECIAL PLACE TO ME. IF YOU CAN DO WELL ON PLACERVILLE SPEEDWAY’S SLICK ORANGE CLAY WITH ITS BIG CUSHION, THEN YOU CAN DO WELL ANYWHERE" said Kyle Larson according to a recent Bee story by Billingsly.

Larson flew to Southern California early Thursday to rejoin his Chip Ganassi Racing team in Fontana for this weekend’s Auto Club 400. With NASCAR taking Easter weekend off, the opening in the schedule allowed Larson to reunite with championship-winning sprint car crew chief Paul Silva. Larson teams up with good friend and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu of Rutherford.

After that race Kyle Larson is scheduled to return to Placerville for the "World of Outlaws" event Wednesday night.  In prep for the special race, the Play Night event was cancelled this weekend to make sure the track was in the best possible shape for the Feature race this Wednesday.

"The Elk Grove native will pilot a midget and a winged sprint car in the nationally recognized Placerville Short Track Showdown featuring the World of Outlaws and United States Auto Club sanctioning bodies for a special weeknight event," writes former local track announcer Bill Sullivan.  In a recent Folson Telegraph story Sullivan wrote, "'This has always been one of my favorite tracks,' said Larson. 'I started racing sprint cars here; I got my very first win here. It’s pretty much home for me.' Larson is now in his second full year of competing in NASCAR Sprint Cup action. Growing up in Elk Grove, the 23-year-old began his racing career in quarter midgets and outlaw carts at various small tracks in the area before he advanced to full-sized sprint cars at Placerville Speedway."

Wednesday’s event is the first of the new season at Placerville Speedway and is set to begin at 7 p.m. for qualifying.

But racing is a high risk sport and the event in SoCal this weekend may have consequences for the Placerville Feature event.

"KYLE LARSON SIDELINED AFTER HARD HIT AT AUTO CLUB" is the headline of a Staff report from NASCAR.com.

The story goes:

"A heavy crash brought an early end to Kyle Larson's Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, snaring his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with 47 of 200 laps complete.
 
Larson's wreck brought out the second caution flag in the Auto Club 400, triggered by a flat, left-rear tire on the 2-mile California track's backstretch. His car glanced off the outside retaining wall before veering sharply toward the inside wall on the backstretch.
 
Though Larson was able to scrub off some measure of speed on the paved backstretch apron, his car made severe, nose-first contact, lifting the tires off the ground in a full pirouette.
 
"I'm all right," Larson radioed his crew after his No. 42 skidded to a halt. "That one really hurt, though."
 
Larson waved as he walked away from the crash under his own power before being transported for a mandatory trip to the infield care center, where he was evaluated and released. The inside backstretch wall was protected by the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier system.
 
"That was definitely a hard hit there, probably one of the harder ones of my career," said Larson, who was scored last in the 39-car field. "And even before that, we were pretty sorta average there. ... Disappointed in our run today, but glad I'm all right."

See a Frame-by-frame look at the wreck HERE