Larson delivers dominant Truck Series performance

Kyle Larson. Image: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kyle Larson has delivered a dominant, winning performance in the #7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in his first Craftsman Truck Series start since 2021.

The 2021 Cup Series champion entered the race at North Wilkesboro Speedway with only two career wins in the Truck Series. He added his third as he crossed the finish line ahead of ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski in second, Rackley W.A.R.’s Matt DiBenedetto in third, Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar in fourth, and Tricon Garage’s Bubba Wallace in fifth.

“Really fun track there, especially in the truck,” Larson told FOX Sports after climbing out of the #7 Silverado. “You could use the apron and such in both ends there, and I had a good time. That was a lot of fun there on the long runs, lapping trucks.”

Larson, who took over the #7 Silverado as an injury replacement for Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Alex Bowman (fractured vertebra), started eighth overall for the 252-lap race. He finished the 70-lap Stage 1 in this same position, but he went on to win Stage 2.

Larson ultimately led a race-high 138 laps before parking his #7 Silverado in Victory Lane. He also had to chase down another driver in the closing laps after ThorSport Racing’s Conner Jones brought out the caution.

Jones stopped on the track on Lap 222 and forced the other drivers to prepare for another restart. While Joines received a two-lap penalty for intentionally bringing out the caution, Larson led the field down pit road for fresh tires. However, Wallace and Niece Motorsports driver Ross Chastain remained out on the track in a gamble to gain positions.

Wallace had old tires on the #1 Toyota Tundra, but he was able to maintain the lead on the restart at Lap 228. He held on until Lap 238 when Larson was able to work his way back to the front. Wallace then lost more spots to drivers with fresher tires as Majeski, DiBenedetto, and Hocevar all passed him.

The gamble to stay out by Wallace and Tricon Garage did not lead to a win, but it helped the Alabama native secure a top-five finish on a day when he remained stuck in the middle of the pack due to the 12 cautions – 10 for incidents – that prevented long runs.

Spire Motorsports only made the move to the Truck Series at the start of the 2022 season. The team has gone on to compete in 15 total events while working with a variety of drivers.

Only two drivers have celebrated wins with Spire Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron snagged the team’s first Truck Series win at Martinsville Speedway in 2022.

Larson took care of the second win while joining a historic list. He is one of three drivers to win a Truck Series race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Mike Bliss was the first in 1995, and Mark Martin was the second in 1996.

The Truck Series season will continue on Friday, May 26. The series regulars will compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the first race of the Triple Truck Challenge bonus program, which pays $50,000 USD to the winner of each event.

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