If you’re a casual dirt fan, seeing Kyle Larson’s name listed in second-place on the race results sheet is likely a bit of a culture shock, seeing as the Hendrick Motorsports driver has been nearly unstoppable every time he runs extracurriculars on the dirt – and honestly when he runs in NASCAR as well.
However, Thursday’s Knoxville Nationals preliminary event wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for the NASCAR Cup Series driver, who had to fight his way through the field in order to earn that runner-up position in the A-Main.
Posting the second-best time in qualifying, Larson was then forced to start seventh in his heat race, due to an invert of the top-eight positions, but was unable to make his way through the field in order to capture one of the four spots that would lock him into the A-Main. After starting on the front row in the B-Main, Larson was able to easily advance into the night’s main event, where he would start deep in the pack.
Now, the A-Main wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for anybody, as it took four green flag attempts to get more than one lap complete in the event, as the result of multiple accidents at the start, including a multi-car accident that saw at least five cars upside down in the time that the accident started, to when it finished.
Larson was extremely lucky to make it through the chaos, weaving between cars to get his No. 57 through the minefield of disabled vehicles and debris.
While the attrition of the event helped Larson move through the pack, it was his driving ability that got him the last set of positions on the track, having to pass a number of cars over the short period of time before the caution flag would fall, advancing to the runner-up position by the end of the 25-lap event.
Brian Brown went to victory lane in the event, with Larson clawing his way into second-place. Brent Marks, Brad Sweet and Rico Abreu rounded out the top-five finishers.
. @dirtvision REPLAY: @BrianBrown21 drives into a familiar location, victory lane at @knoxvilleraces! He scores the win during tonight's #NOSvilleNationals preliminary feature! pic.twitter.com/WJFUsrgxsd
— World of Outlaws (@WorldofOutlaws) August 13, 2021