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Kyle Larson wins first dirt late model race in his second career start

Kyle Larson dirt racing

Kyle Larson discovered a new way to dominate in dirt racing Saturday night.

In only the second dirt late model race of his career, Larson led all 50 laps of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Port Royal Speedway in Pennsylvania.

Larson already had won more than 30 feature races this year in sprint cars, silver crown and midgets, but he said Saturday’s victory was “no doubt, probably one of, if not the biggest, wins ever of my career.

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“I thought we would be OK, but I didn’t think I was going to win a race,” Larson said in a series release after beating Brandon Sheppard by 0.499 seconds. “To climb into something that’s way different than I have ever been in and to have success with a great team just means a lot.”

Larson had finished fifth in his Late Model debut Thursday at Port Royal, where he previously won three times in sprint cars. He had set modest expectations in interviews this week, hoping just to be competitive against some of the best in dirt lade models.

Said Sheppard, who has 25 victories this season: “I felt like I was closing in on him [Larson]. I really couldn’t take off very well on the restarts and we had a bunch of restarts tonight. That wasn’t helping me. Kyle did a really good job; he does a good job in anything he drives.”

Larson earned $15,000 for the victory as well as praise from many corners in the racing world.