Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson doesn’t get to race with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series very often but when he did on Thursday night at the Tyler County Speedway he made it count. The Kevin Rumley-prepared No. 6 machine led every hotly contested lap to claim the 56th running of the Hillbilly 100 in an instant classic in one of Dirt Late Model racing’s most historic of events.
The Longhorn Chassis driver from Elk Grove, California earned $30,000 for his efforts on the Middlebourne, WV track in a race aired live by FloRacing.com.
A total of 40 cars were signed in for competition
Group A Results- 1. Tyler Riggs(12.366), 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Boom Briggs, 5. Devin Moran, 6. Daulton Wilson, 7. Colten Burdette, 8. Mike Marlar
Group B Results- 1. Garrett Smith (12.500), 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., 3. Kyle Larson, 4. Garrett Alberson, 5. Josh Richards, 6. Earl Pearson Jr., 7. Cody Rogers, 8. Kyle Thomas
Heat 1 Results: 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Devin Moran, 3. Tyler Riggs, 4. Colten Burdette
Heat 2 Results: 1. Boom Briggs, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Tyler Erb, 4. Mike Marlar
Heat 3 Results: 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Garrett Smith, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Michael Brown
Heat 4 Results: 1. Garrett Alberson, 2. Kyle Thomas, 3. Earl Pearson Jr , Ricky Thornton Jr.
B-main 1 Finish: 1. Mason Zeigler, 2. Tyler Carpenter, 3. Freddie Carpenter
B-main 2 Finish: 1. Hudson O’Neal, 2. Zach Hill, 3. Ryan Montgomery
Feature Re-cap: Larson took the lead at the start of the 100-lap feature and led the way until the first caution flag of the night waved on lap 6 for a spin by Tyler Carpenter. at that time, the NASCAR star led Brandon Sheppard, Alberson, Briggs and Smith.
Smith asserted himself early on as a serious contender when he jumped to fourth on the lap 6 restart while Larson and Sheppard battled at the front of the field for the race lead with Larson employing a high line and Sheppard running down low.
Smith again moved from following a lap 15 restart as the young Georgia driver bolted to the third position behind Larson and Sheppard and ahead of Alberson and Richards. McCreadie joined the fight for a top-5 spot as he moved in to fight with Richards for position.
At the race’s quarter mark, Larson and Sheppard continued to battle as they worked their way through slower traffic. Soon afterwards, they would be joined by Smith, Alberson, Richards and McCreadie in a fierce fight with lapped machines also in the mix.
Sheppard was able to pull alongside Larson as those two raced side-by-side for the top spot on the leaderboard between laps 35 and 38 even going three-wide with a slower car at one point.
A lap 45 caution for the slowing car of Kyle Thomas set up a restart that would allow Smith to get around Sheppard for the runner-up position. He then pulled to the inside of Larson to challenge for the lead, but once again, Larson’s high line prevailed.
Tyler Erb spun on lap 53 to bring out another caution. A pivotal moment in the race occurred under that yellow when second-running Smith pulled into the pit area for a tire change. Alberson then took his turn at working on Larson for the race lead over the next several laps until a lap 79 caution for Freddie Carpenter reset the field.
Larson continued to lead but with Sheppard now back behind him. Those two cars began to pull away from the rest of the pack and looked to settle the affair among themselves.
A final yellow flag on lap 93 for Daulton Wilson allowed his pursuers to take one more shot at Larson, but in the end, the No. 6 machine would sail under the checkered flag to claim the win.
Larson became the 20th different driver to win on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series during the 2022 season.
“That might be one of the luckiest races I’ve ever had,” Larson said in his victory lane interview. “The cautions at exactly the right times when I needed them to. Every time I’d start seeing a nose to my inside, I wasn’t any good around the bottom and I knew I was in trouble, then a caution would fall and I’d get some clean track and get to click off at least ten laps or so before I would get to traffic. There was laps when I would feel like I could get my angles right in traffic and get my wheel spin underneath me, but most of the time when I would move down below the banking I was struggling.”
Feature Results: 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Brandon Sheppard, 3. Garrett Alberson, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Josh Richards, 6. Mike Marlar, 7. Michael Brown, 8. Earl Pearson Jr., 9. Hudson O’Neal, 10. Colten Burdette, 11. Spencer Hughes, 12. Garrett Smith, 13. Ricky Thornton Jr., 14. Tyler Erb, 15. Daulton Wilson, 16. Ryan Montgomery, 17. Freddie Carpenter, 18. Devin Moran, 19. Corey Conley, 20. Tyler Carpenter, 21. Kyle Thomas, 22. Zach Hill, 23. Mason Zeigler, 24. Ross Robinson, 25. Tyler Riggs, 26. Jacob Hawkins, 27. Boom Briggs
Please consider also reading:
Respond to this post on Twitter by following @RichardAllenIDR and @MichaelRMoats or by liking the InsideDirtRacing.com Facebook page.
Also, NASCAR and pavement racing fans can check out InsideCircleTrack.