NASCAR driver Kyle Larson flipped violently at Western Springs Speedway during the opening round of the United Truck Parts International Series – Boxing Day Bash. Fellow NASCAR driver Christopher Bell also crashing hard.
Larson’s night came to an end while in close quarters racing entering the back straight with a full head of steam during the 3rd Tri Nations Test Race.
The Golden Homes King Chassis – Toyota swerving then clipping the pit gate which sent the Californian on a low but fast trajectory. The awkward landing sending the car into a series of rolls before coming to rest on entry to Town bend.
Watch the full crash below:
Larson checked by medical personnel but his car in need of assessment as to the team’s further participation in the series. The team hoping to compete again in the later rounds.
Bell’s crash had similar characteristics to that of Larson but with less severity. This crash happening in the B Main while attempting to qualify for the 30 Lap final. The Oklahoma driver also walking away with no major injuries.
The Tri-Nations test races were three 4-lap events with New Zealand and American teams waiting till the last minute to pick their most inform drivers on the night and Australia without this advantage having only 3 drivers on hand.
This played a role when Australian Kaidon Brown was unable to compete in this team’s event due to motor issues. Auckland driver Aaron Hodgson stepping in for Brown.
Watch the full crash below:
New Zealand’s test team representatives were Michael Pickens, Peter Hunnibell and seventeen year old Max Guilford. American’s Larson, Former POWRi Midget Champion Zach Daum and multi-talented Chris Windom.
America winning all 3 test races including the Larson crash shortened final. New Zealand accumulating more points though with 7 top 5’s and enough points to take out the series 148 NZ, 142 USA and 117 Aus.
Other big names of the midget racing scene were Zeb Wise who started 16th after winning the B Main. Wise, making his first appearance outside of America moving forward to finish 10th.
After starting 6th Windom only completed several laps before succumbing to engine issues. His stable mate ‘Sunshine’ Tyler Courtney starting in the last row after entry by way of the B-Main. Courtney setting fastest lap of the race on his way to an 8th place finish.
Greenway Racing driver Logan Seavey started 15th and came home in 9th place. Fellow American and team mate Daum finished 2nd after starting 8th.
First time visitors to Western Springs Robert Heard and Travis Mills both made the feature with Mills 12th and Heard 16th. Top performing Australian on the night was Brown who finished 3rd after starting in 4th position.
Christchurch drivers Jayden Dodge and multiple South Island Champ Jeremy Webb both unable to qualify for the Main event.
Guilford started in the second row and managed to fend off a host of drivers to bring it home in 4th place. Surely a career highlight for the young Aucklander.
Locals Brock Maskovich, Hayden Guptill and Peter Hunnibell also finishing in the top 8.
The big winner on the night was Pickens who took out the win in both Midget and Sprintcar features. A 2nd and 3rd place finish in his heat races earning him a front row start. After initially dropping back several places Pickens picked off the cars ahead and hit the lead before the halfway mark to win by over a second.
Other winners on the night were Ryan Baker in Three Quarter Midgets and Mitch Osborne in Formula 2 Midgets.
Round two of the Series takes place today at Baypark Speedway in Mount Maunganui.
Unnofficial race results HERE
Catch all the action from this meeting on demand at www.speedshifttv.com