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Kyle Larson wins Arizona sprint race

Hisense 300 - Practice

Hisense 300 - Practice

Getty Images

Kyle Larson got his 2016 off to a good start over the weekend by winning his first race of the year.

Larson, driving the No. 57, won the second round of the Winter Heat Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz., on Saturday night.

Driving for Paul Silva, Larson started on the outside of the front row for the 30-lap race and took the lead on Lap 8 when Greg Hodnett spun out. Larson then checked out and lapped the field up to 14th place and finished with a five-second lead over second.

Larson pocketed $12,000 with the win on the three-eighths-mile oval.

“I had a lot of fun,” Larson told Speed Sport News. “You had to be really aggressive, but then you also had to be careful, too. To run the top you had to be aggressive, keep your wheel spin up so you wouldn’t get sucked into the cushion like I did a couple of times. It was a tricky race track.”

The sprint event is part of a busy offseason for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver. After the next showdown on Tuesday, Larson will then head to Daytona International Speedway to test for the Rolex 24 at Daytona from Jan 9-10. Then it’s back to dirt racing with the Chili Bowl from Jan. 11-16 before the Rolex 24 at Daytona to end January.

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