Young American wins four races at Western Springs, including 50-lap classic


Photo credit James Selwyn Photos

News from Western Springs Stadium
American sensation Kyle Larson has added to the glorious history at Western Springs Speedway with his dominant victory in the Crown Plaza Auckland World 50 Lap Classic enough to not only make him winner of the International Midget Series, but the first driver to ever win all four races across the series in one attempt.

The only person who could get near Larson in the hot-laps qualifying session was fellow American Bryan Clauson, but 21-year old Larson topped that session and took a comfortable victory in the A-Dash to sit his car on pole position alongside team-mate and New Zealand’s top hope, Michael Pickens, when the feature race got underway.

When the feature got underway, Larson cleared out to a comfortable gap while Pickens came under pressure for second across the course of the 50 laps from fellow countrymen Brad Mosen and Hayden Williams, plus Americans Clauson, Dave Darland and Jerry Coons Jr. First Mosen and then later Clauson both found their way past, but were forced onto the infield within laps with engine failure in both cases.

But things really spiced up when Coons broke a wheel and rolled. While the American was ok, the yellow lights came on and closed the field up for what would be a two lap dash to the flag. But any threat his opposition thought they could impose on Larson was soon dispelled as he shot off into the distance to take victory and create history. Pickens crossed the line in second and Williams was third, while Darland only just held off a last minute challenge from another Kiwi, Shane O’Connor.

With that race win, Larson also won the Herman Tros Memorial Shield as the winner of the International Midget Series, comfortably clear of Pickens and Williams.

Other action saw Jonathan Allard win the Sprintcar feature and Scott Baker victorious in the TQ’s.

Racing continues at Western Springs with the Koken Tools New Zealand Sprintcar championship which runs on January 5. Race day sees gates open at 5pm with the first race getting underway at 6.30. Adults are $30 with kids under the age of 16 free with a paying adult. For more information, check out www.springsspeedway.com.

News from Western Springs Speedway – January 2
Young American sensation Kyle Larson has continued his winning ways in the International Midget Series at Western Springs Speedway with his third win in as many starts seeing him crowned ‘King of the Springs’ as the winner of the 40 Lap feature race.

Earlier in the night another American, Bryan Clauson, and top Kiwi hope Michael Pickens were equal top qualifiers from the heat racing but Larson stormed through the opposition in the spectator friendly Pole Shuffle to start the feature race from the front of the grid.

Once the feature race got underway, Larson moved into an early and comfortable lead as most drivers set about conserving tyres on a slick race track whilst also jostling for position. As the leaders approached lapped traffic, Clauson began to close down the gap and at one point sat side by side with his fellow countryman. Meanwhile Pickens was battling with another American, Dave Darland, until Darland succumbed to tyre issues and was forced to the infield.

But in the end, no-one could stop Larson who extends his lead in the International Midget Series with a perfect score to date.

Other action saw Jonathan Allard survive a spectacular battle with Peter Murphy to win the Sprintcar feature.

Racing continues on January 3 with the final round of the International Midget Series, the Crowne Plaza Auckland World 50 Lapper, before the Koken Tools New Zealand Sprintcar championship on January 5.

Race day sees gates open at 5pm with the first race getting underway at 6.30. Adults are $30 with kids under the age of 16 free with a paying adult. For more information, check out www.springsspeedway.com.

Press Release – CRC Synergy Racing
Auckland midget car racer Brad Mosen looked a likely winner in the World Midget 50 Lapper at Western Springs Speedway tonight, only to pull up with an unknown mechanical issue while in second position, leaving American Kyle Larson free to waltz home for the win. Starting fourth on the grid, Mosen quickly despatched Indianapolis 500 driver Bryan Clauson to take third and began hunting down New Zealand champion Michael Pickens. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Larson controlled the race from the front.

CRC Synergy Racing driver Mosen spent a dozen laps running around the top of the track and made it stick in turn two when he flew around the outside of Pickens for second. The Kiwi pair then traded slide job passing moves before Mosen drove away in pursuit of the man they call “Young Money”, Larson.

“We qualified really well and the car felt great early on in the race so we were moving up pretty quick; we had plenty left in our in-car adjustments to dial the car in as the race went on as well” said 25-year-old Mosen. “The set-up we chose to run was weighted towards the top part of the track where you have further to go but can carry your momentum around the turns; running the top has always suited my style.”

A caution flag brought the field back together 14 laps in, but on the ensuing restart Mosen’s car struck unexpected problems forcing his retirement from the race. This left Californian superstar Larson untroubled out front as he comfortably won the biggest speedway race in the Southern Hemisphere; his fourth from as many attempts in New Zealand this summer.

“It’s awesome having these American guys coming down to New Zealand each year. They race over 100 times a season so really set the benchmark for our sport,” said Mosen. “It also gives the younger Kiwi drivers great experience racing against the best in the world and shows that we’ve got the goods here in New Zealand to race with and often beat the pros.”

The next outing for the CRC Synergy Racing team is Saturday night at Western Springs Speedway for the New Zealand Sprintcar Championship.

“We’re not 100% sure of what went wrong with the car last night but we have a great team who will take it back to the garage and hopefully get it sorted for tomorrow night,” said CRC Synergy Racing manager Luke Fisher.

 

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