Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Kyle Larson used lapped traffic to his advantage to pass polesitter Buddy Kofoid with 11 laps to go, then drove off to his second consecutive Silver Cup victory at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania Tuesday night (July 18).
Larson, who seemed to visibly struggle with an ultra-slick Lernerville surface in his heat race (grabbing the last transfer spot after briefly losing it to Billy Dietrich) and early in the feature, pounced the second Kofoid hit the back of the field.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: Tuesday marked the first All-Star Circuit of Champions race to run without points leader Tyler Courtney, who was injured in a crash during the Knight Before feature Friday night at Eldora Speedway. There’s been some confusion over how long Courtney is estimated to be out, as an article by Sprint Car Unlimited seemed to suggest that Courtney would be out the rest of 2023. The driver, however, refuted that.
Nonetheless, Anthony Macri, who was the headline of the Eldora Million when he split from his family-owned No. 39M team days before the event, made his debut with Clauson Marshall Racing and ran well, posting a sixth-place finish in the Silver Cup A-main. Macri spoke to Flo Racing about the arrangement prior to Tuesday’s race.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
There was no shortage of talent in Tuesday’s Silver Cup field, but damn if Courtney’s absence hasn’t turned the ASCoC points race head over heels. With Courtney out for injury, only two drivers in the top 10 in the series standings actually scored top-10 finishes in Tuesday’s feature (and one of those drivers, Brent Marks, isn’t actually running for the series title). Kind of feels like what ARCA Racing would if Venturini Motorsports parked their cars for the year.
I’ll never knock on Larson for running in winged 410 sprint car races, as that’s the top level of sprint car racing and no driver should ever be knocked for winning at the top. Having said that, looking at his stats in ASCoC competition, maybe he should stick to the World of Outlaws? These numbers are stupid good.
Tuesday wasn’t the first time that an ASCoC broadcast on Flo Racing had to split with another streaming provider (it’s routine at Florida Speedweeks for the tour to split coverage with DirtVision based on whatever World Racing Group series runs alongside them at Volusia). And while Flo did well to fill the void with original content, it still felt very obtrusive to sit through lengthy intervals where Flo wasn’t broadcasting from the track. Honestly, Danny Dietrich probably said it best.
While on the topic of Dietrich, he went off on an apparent race fan on Twitter this evening for damn good reason.
Yes, Lernerville Speedway is in Pennsylvania. Four hours for a weekday race is not an insignificant tow. A field of 41 cars is not guaranteed money. And given that Dietrich endured a rough few days at Eldora and a knee injury leaving the racetrack, there’s ample reason for a Pennsylvania driver to opt not to run the Silver Cup. Regardless, criticizing a race team for picking and choosing their schedule is not the place of any fan.
Sadly, there was bad news on the racing front in western Pennsylvania this Tuesday, as it was announced that Knox Raceway is closing for the remainder of the 2023 season.
A story we’re hearing all too often in 2023. If you’re able to afford it, please get out and support a local racetrack whenever possible his summer.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
We’ve talked about Larson’s absurd statistics and Macri’s solid debut, so the shoutout here will go to the hard charger of the night, Cory Eliason, who improved from 19th to ninth in the feature.
Dirt Racing’s Victim(s) of the Night
The suddenly wide-open points race in the ASCoC was not a situation that series regular JJ Hickle was able to take advantage of, as Hickle flipped the No. 97 car exiting turn 2 during qualifying.
As a result, Hickle scratched from the remainder of the evening’s race program.
Number of dirt tracks in the US that contested an oval-track racing program Tuesday.
The nation’s largest car count Tuesday, opening night of the King of the Creek at 141 Speedway in Wisconsin.
The nation’s largest purse Tuesday, paid to the winner of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville (Larson).
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Thursday morning (July 20) with coverage of the World of Outlaws sprint cars from BAPS Motor Speedway in Pennsylvania. Streaming coverage can be found on DirtVision.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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