Kyle Larson may have only been running in his fifth-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and his 11th NASCAR national level race, overall, but that didn’t keep him from leading most of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Truck Series event at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on Sunday. He led 187 laps and held off Joey Logano on a green-white-checker restart to claim his first win in the series.
“This is really special,” Larson said in victory lane.
Logano finished second, and Brendan Gaughan passed Johnny Sauter in the final two laps to finish third. Sauter finished fourth and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five in his second-career Truck Series start.
Larson tookk the lead on lap 19 and led all the remaining laps except for one lap led by Sauter when he took the lead on a restart following a caution that came out with 22 laps to go. By the next lap, Larson was back up front.
Early in the race, Gaughan ran second to Larson but was unable to keep up. By the time the yellow flag waved on lap 63, Larson had built up a lead of nearly 12 seconds over Gaughan.
Ty Dillon and Matt Crafton also spent time running second, but like Gaughan, neither of them could pass Larson for the lead. For the most part, they couldn’t even keep up with him.
Sauter moved into second with just under 50 laps to go after overcoming losing spots on pit road multiple times. He was able to get in front of Larson long enough on a restart to lead a lap, but Larson soon got back in front.
As Larson led the way late in the race, Logano quickly made his way toward the front on newer tires after going a lap down earlier in the race and getting that lap back. He got up to second with 10 laps to go and was gaining on Larson when the seventh and final caution of the race came out with three laps remaining. The final caution resulted in a green-white-checker, two-lap sprint to the finish with Larson and Logano starting side-by-side.
“I was definitely worried,” Larson said of Logano. “I could lsee him getting closer and closer in the mirror.”
Larson was able to hold off Logano to take his first-career win.
“I just got beat,” Logano said. “I was expecting him to do something different on the restart, and he didn’t do it. I spun my tires.”
During the final caution, Ron Hornaday made contact with Darrell Wallace Jr. NASCAR viewed the contact as intentional and sent Hornaday to the back of the field for the restart, and he was called to the NASCAR hauler at the end of the race.
“He just flat out wrecks us,” Wallace said. “Just turned us. It’s unfortunate.”
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR