Larson Stays Hot to Win Ironman 55

Kyle Larson continued his dominant run, as he won the $20,000 payday that is the Ironman 55, Saturday.

Larson Stays Hot to Win Ironman

Despite a massive tumble at Huset’s, Larson came back with a victory in Pevely, Mo. to win the Federated Auto Parts Ironman 55. By far, it was his toughest challenge during his dominant run as he won his fifth World of Outlaws feature this year. After fending off battles and even having to regroup, Larson found his way to victory lane once again.

Larson held off his former driver, Shane Stewart, late in the going. Stewart led the majority of the laps, before a bobble helped put Larson in position. Then, Larson took advantage of Stewart in lap traffic. He was able to hold off Stewart and last year’s Ironman 55 winner, Sheldon Haudenschild, to pick up the crown jewel victory.

This was Larson’s 10th win in the last 13 races he’s competed in; his fifth overall with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars this year. It’s his 14th win in just over a month of racing. Hot is an understatement for how the driver from Elk Grove, Calif. is doing.

“That Was Hard Work”

Larson looked physically exhausted as he got out of the Paul Silva No. 57.

“That was hard work,” Larson said on the DirtVision broadcast following the win.

Certainly was one of the most intense races of the 2020 campaign and probably the toughest Larson had to battle in recent weeks. Multiple challengers from multiple different ways and even a spot where he almost lost the car.

Larson and Haudenschild paced the front row for the $20,000 event that was scheduled for 55 laps. It was a quick lead for Larson at the green before the challengers started coming.

Early on it was a battle with Jacob Allen, who is still looking for his first World of Outlaws victory. Allen jumped ahead and led Larson for a few laps, before Stewart took over the lead with 38 laps to go and pulled away from the rest of the field.

A caution bunched up the field and erased Stewart’s three-second lead. On the restart, Stewart pulled ahead of Haudenschild and Allen as Larson fell back. Allen passed Larson for third. Rico Abreu challenged Larson for third. In Turn 3 and 4, Abreu tried to slide by Larson. They almost touched wheels, however, and Larson took evasive action, as they went through Turns 1 and 2.

Larson went up the track and over the cushion, which dropped him back to the fourth, then fifth. After regaining some momentum and getting back to fourth, Abreu almost went upside-down, which put Larson back to third. Meanwhile, Stewart was well on his way to victory.

Last Effort

Larson recovered and climbed to second, with 15 laps to go and got around Haudenschild. Then, it was time to chase down Stewart. A massive run by Larson and a bobble by Stewart would put Larson back in position to get around the No. 71, and he did.

With eight laps to go, Larson retook the lead. Stewart and Haudenschild battled for second, which allowed Larson to break away. Lap traffic made it close, as Haudenschild closed in, but Larson was too strong late in the going.

Taking the high line around, Larson would rip the fence the final few laps, as he locked down the victory in the Ironman 55. Larson led Haudenschild, Stewart, Abreu and Donny Schatz across the line to win the Ironman 55.

It was back to back podium finishes for Haudenschild at the crown jewel event, as he dominated last year’s race. Never wavering from the top-five again, Haudenschild has taken to a liking of I-55 Raceway, after his win, Friday, and now, a second, Saturday.

Stewart dominated the majority of the event and led the most laps. He may only be running a part time schedule but every time he is on the track with the Outlaws, he’s been successful.

“I gave that race away,” Stewart said to DirtVision, as he talked about the bobble he had in lap traffic that brought Larson into striking distance.

Next up for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars is a trip to Knoxville Raceway for ‘The One and Only’ event, a three-day event that will take the place of the Knoxville Nationals, that was postponed, due to COVID-19. The event gets started, Thursday, and will have a points system set up to follow over the three-day schedule.

TOP-10:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Sheldon Haudenschild
  3. Shane Stewart
  4. Rico Abreu
  5. Donny Schatz
  6. Jacob Allen
  7. Carson Macedo
  8. Logan Schuchart
  9. David Gravel
  10. Brad Sweet

Complete Finishing Run-down


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