NASCAR Truck Series

Kyle Larson wins first NASCAR North Wilkesboro race since 1996

3 Mins read
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In 2013, Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway in a short-lived revival of the track after a decade-long dormancy. On Saturday, he won the Truck race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in what NASCAR fans hope will be a longer stint back on the schedule.

Racing the #7 for Spire Motorsports in relief of his injured Cup Series team-mate Alex Bowman, Larson led 138 of 252 laps to notch his third career Truck victory. While a dominant outing, matters got dicey at the end as Chase Purdy and Christian Eckes‘ tangle with five laps remaining set up overtime, during which he had to hold off Ty Majeski and fellow Cup driver Bubba Wallace.

The victory is the second for Spire at the Truck level after William Byron, also a Cup colleague of Larson, won at another short track in Martinsville last year. Larson also recorded his third career Truck victory and first since Eldora in 2016, though he had only raced in the series three more times after that.

“It was a really fun track there, especially in the truck where you can use the apron and such at both ends,” Larson stated. “I had a good time. That was a lot of fun on the long runs.

“I wasn’t supposed to run. Unfortunately, Alex got hurt, and I got the opportunity to run this.”

Wallace and Larson traded the lead throughout the final stage before Larson cleared him on lap 238. The two, along with Byron (finished eleventh) and Christopher Bell (sixteenth), were Cup drivers using the Trucks to prepare for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday.

“For me, racing on something different, a place that is worn out and allows tyre fall off, I thought that was really, really fun,” Wallace commented. “We needed it to go green from start to finish because we were really good on that long run in the second stage. We went from fourteenth to fourth. The way the cautions fell, which is not going to change up your mindset, but none of us know how hard is too hard when there are thirty laps left. When we have seventh laps left, we have a good gauge on how hard I can push.

“It’s just frustrating. Last weekend, we could have won the race. This weekend, it would have been fun to battle more with Larson, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

As is second nature to the Trucks in recent times, ten cautions for wrecks took place. While most were for spins after two trucks collided, the largest on lap 202 saw Tyler Ankrum get shoved into the wall while racing in a pack before a stack-up occurred with Rajah Caruth, Ben Rhodes, and Zane Smith.

The race was the first at North Wilkesboro since NASCAR departed the track at the end of 1996. Both Truck Series races there in 1995 and 1996 were won by Fords, making the Chevrolet of Larson the first non-Blue Oval Truck victor.

Race results

187Kyle Larson*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
2398Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingFord252Running
31525Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet252Running
4242Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
5141Bubba Wallace*TRICON GarageToyota252Running
6111Corey HeimTRICON GarageToyota252Running
71888Matt CraftonThorSport RacingFord252Running
8244Chase PurdyKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
91241Ross Chastain*Niece MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
10723Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet252Running
11451William Byron*Kyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
123230Chris HackerOn Point MotorsportsToyota252Running
133352Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota252Running
141643Daniel Dye #GMS RacingChevrolet252Running
15632Bret Holmes #Bret Holmes RacingChevrolet252Running
16961Christopher Bell*Hattori Racing EnterprisesToyota252Running
171120Kaden HoneycuttYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
183115Tanner GrayTRICON GarageToyota252Running
192245Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
201013Hailie DeeganThorSport RacingFord252Running
212717Taylor Gray #TRICON GarageToyota252Running
223402Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
232135Jake Garcia #McAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet252Running
2459Colby HowardCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet252Running
251319Christian EckesMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet252Running
261716Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota250Running
273512Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
282822Josh Williams*AM RacingFord221Water Pump
293066Conner JonesThorSport RacingFord219Electrical
30202Nick Sanchez #Rev RacingChevrolet213Running
312656Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota211Running
323638Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord204Accident
331999Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota202Accident
342324Rajah Caruth #GMS RacingChevrolet200Accident
35255Dean ThompsonTRICON GarageToyota182Accident
362904Johnny SauterRoper RacingFord153Electrical
DNQ75Parker KligermanHenderson MotorsportsChevrolet
DNQ33Josh ReaumeReaume Brothers RacingFord
DNQ6Norm BenningNorm Benning RacingChevrolet
Wth46Akinori OgataG2G RacingToyota
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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