Larson Breaks Through at 'The Rock'

K.Larson V.Lane

Kyle Larson celebrates his first career Camping World Truck Series victory, Sunday at Rockingham Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

COMPLETE RESULTS

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Kyle Larson held off a fast-closing Joey Logano in the final laps of Sunday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 to notch his first career victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The win halted Johnny Sauter's early-season winning streak at two.  After claiming victories in the season's opening pair of races, Sauter settled for fourth place at "The Rock."

Logano's Brad Keselowski Racing team saved a set of sticker tires for the end of the race and the strategy nearly paid off with a win.  But Larson, driving the No. 30  Autism Speaks Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports, was able to hold him off in a green-white-checkered finish.  The margin of victory was .177 seconds.

"This means a lot, to finally get a national (touring series) victory," Larson said.  "I was pretty nervous that last restart because I knew Joey was on newer tires than me.  I'm not normally good on restarts.  I've been trying to work hard on that and, thankfully, it paid off."

Larson started third and was the dominant driver in the 36-truck field, leading 187 of the race's 205 laps - including the final 22.  Logano, making just the second Truck Series start of his career, grabbed second place with Brendan Gaughan, Sauter and Chase Elliott completing the top five.

"It was a great day," Larson said.  "We didn't make any changes to the truck."

Sauter's bid for a third straight victory was stalled by a slow pit stop near the mid-point of the race, which forced him back to 10th place.  But he then rallied toward the front and hooked up with Gaughan in a spirited battle for second place as the laps wound down, which enabled Larson to open up some distance on his primary challengers.

A pair of late cautions bunched the field, and also gave Logano's pit crew the chance to bolt on its final set of fresh tires and challenge Larson.  Over the final 20 laps, Logano rallied from 18th to the runner-up finish.  He was the only Sprint Cup Series driver in the field, arriving at the track in time to qualify seventh on Sunday morning after racing at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

An accident involving Timothy Peters and Ryan Sieg brought out the race's final caution.  And on the subsequent restart, Larson got a good jump on Logano and held his ground over the final two laps to claim victory in just his fifth career Truck Series start.

I'm a little frustrated at myself," Logano said.  "On the last restart I was like, 'Man, this is perfect.  It played right into my hands.'  I got beat.  I spun 'em (the tires).  I was so mad at myself.  It's all my fault.  We should have won this race.  Maybe we didn't have the truck to win, but we had the strategy to win."

There were just four lead changes among three drivers: Larson, Sauter and James Buescher, who finished 14th.  The race included seven cautions for 33 laps.

The next stop on the Camping World Truck Series schedule will be Saturday's SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway.  Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET) with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

Race Center

SFP 250

@ Kansas Speedway
Friday, May 09, 2014
Radio Start:
MRN, 7 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. (ET)

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