Fresh Off ASCS Win Kyle Larson Ready For USAC National Midget Series
by Chris McWilliams on February 17, 2011
Kyle Larson After His ASCS Win at Kings Speedway (Image Credit: Paul Trevino)
California young gun Kyle Larson just picked up the Lucas Oil ASCS win on Saturday at Kings Speedway in Hanford, California. There he bested a field of the best 360 Winged Sprint Car drivers in the country including Shane Stewart and Tim Kaeding. Larson will now make his first run at a national championship in 2011 as the 18 year old from Elk Grove will contest the entire Mopar USAC Midget National Series for Toyota Racing Development sponsored Keith Kunz Motorsports. The Columbus, Indiana based team will join together with the 2010 winged 410 sprint car King of California champion for their first race at the midget portion of the Copper on Dirt at USA Raceway Park in Tucson, Arizona on February 18 and 19.
For more information and news on Kyle Larson please visit www.kylelarsonracing.net.
The Keith Kunz Motorsports Midget in Action at the 2011 Chili Bowl (Image Credit: kylelarsonracing.net)
Excited about the opportunity Kunz said, “I’ve had my eye on Kyle since his impressive run at the Oval Nationals at Perris last November. I wasn’t real sure what his plans were for this season but we approached him at the Chili Bowl to gauge his interest. With Toyota representatives in agreement, I decided a few days later to offer the ride to Kyle. He has proven in a short amount of time to be one of the most versatile dirt drivers in the country. Even though he lacks pavement experience, I feel, with his smooth driving style, he will pick that up quickly with many laps of testing. With two thirds of the schedule on dirt I have high hopes that Kyle can contend for the USAC National Midget Championship.”
Larson is equally excited to be joining forces with one of the legendary championship teams in USAC racing history. “For a young driver like me this is an incredible opportunity to be racing for such a prominent team in Keith Kunz Motorsports. And to have corporate support from a company such as Toyota this early in my career is an awesome feeling. I just hope to make them all proud for putting their faith in me with so little experience in this form of racing. It is truly an honor to be here in this position.” With Kunz Motorsports cutting back on their sprint car efforts this season and focusing on the USAC midget championship the team has decided to begin their 2011 campaign at the Copper on Dirt in a couple of weeks. For Larson, the non-sanctioned event will be a low-key setting where the driver can get accustomed to the Toyota powerplant mounted inside a Kunz built Bullet Chassis. “I raced there for the first time last November in the winged ASCS National and Canyon Region non wing events and I really like the track,” said the 10th place finisher of the 2010 Chili Bowl Nationals. “It’s big, wide, and fast, where keeping your momentum up is key. I’m hoping for a good field of midgets to show, so we can see where we stand before we tackle the USAC schedule.”
Kyle Larson's 2010 Sprint Car (Image Credit: kylelarsonracing.net)
“I’m really looking forward to the USAC midget schedule this year,” said Larson. “I have never run any of the tracks and have only seen Irwindale in person. Guys like Bryan Clauson, Jerry Coons, Jr., Tracy Hines, and Brad Kuhn will be tough with all their experience at these places. I think I’ll do pretty good with the dirt stuff because I’ve always adapted fairly quick to new tracks in the winged sprint cars, but the pavement is where I will have to get up to speed if I want to be a contender for the USAC championship. I see it as a big challenge and one that I am looking forward to.”
Although Larson’s focus will be on the USAC national midget schedule, he will still be active in other forms of racing. He will return to the seat of the Stadelhofer Construction/Kaeding Performance # 99 in many early season west coast World of Outlaw events, and also when the touring group returns in September for the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Chico. Several King of the West races are slated, with the Johnny Key Classic among a handful of Taco Bravo races at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway. Single night USAC/CRA races at Calistoga and Chico also dot the schedule in the Kaeding machine. Larson is also looking to add many more races to his schedule, including high profile events in WoO, ASCS National Series, and non wing sprint cars.