NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. – Kyle Larson dominated the day at North Wilkesboro Speedway to score his first NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win in seven years.
Larson had to navigate several late-race cautions at the .625-mile track to earn the victory. After leading 123 consecutive laps, he came to pit road under yellow on lap 225. Pitting for four fresh tires, he would restart in sixth on lap 228 due to varying strategies with three cars staying out and a team taking two tires.
Larson wasted no time getting back to the front, passing Bubba Wallace on lap 238. Another caution fell on lap 246 and the 30-year-old driver had to hold off Ty Majeski in a two-lap overtime finish for the win in the first Truck Series race at the track in 27 years.
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"Really fun track especially in the truck," Larson told FOX Sports after getting out of the winning truck. "You can use the apron and such at both ends there. I had a good time. That was a lot of fun on the long runs there lapping trucks. Huge thank you Bono (Kevin Manion, crew chief) and everybody on this team.
"I wasn’t supposed to run. Unfortunately, Alex (Bowman) got hurt and that allowed me the opportunity to run this. Thanks to everybody at Spire Motorsports for allowing me to race their track, HendrickCars.com and Rick Hendrick for also letting me run. It’s been a good couple of weeks, and we are going to keep it rolling."
Larson led a race-high 138 laps on the day in the No. 7 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Silverado for Spire Motorsports. His stage win in the second stage was his first in the truck ranks. The start came as he filled in for an injured Alex Bowman behind the wheel. Bowman was initially slated to run this race but is currently sidelined with a fractured vertebra.
For Larson, this was his first start in the Truck Series since he ran the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2021. The victory is his third in the series as he previously won at Rockingham Speedway in 2013 and Eldora Speedway in 2016. Last week in his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the season, he won at Darlington Raceway. On top of that, he has two in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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William Byron finished 11th in the No. 51 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Silverado for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He led 10 laps on the day and nearly won the first stage, before Corey Heim was able to pass him on the last lap of the opening 70-lap segment. The 25-year-old spent much of the day running in the top-seven positions before sliding back on the closing two-lap sprint to the finish.
The North Wilkesboro race marked Byron’s third and final start of the season for KBM. In three starts for the team with which he got his national series start with, he earned two top-five finishes (the dirt race at Bristol and Darlington).
The extra seat time will be beneficial to both Larson and Byron ahead of Saturday night’s All-Star Heat Races (starting at 7:20 p.m. ET) and Sunday’s All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET) at North Wilkesboro. Both events will be covered on FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
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