Kyle Larson Passes Bubba Wallace To Win Truck Race At North Wilkesboro Speedwayby Hunter Thomas May 20, 2023 0 comments
NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. – Kyle Larson took the lead away from Bubba Wallace late in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Tyson 250 and held on to win at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Final pit stops came under 30 laps to go in Saturday’s race, and in an effort to gain track position, Wallace stayed out and inherited the lead for a restart with 23 laps to go. Once the green flag waved, Wallace jumped out in front of the field, but he was quickly chased down by Larson who had four fresh tires; however, Wallace put up a roadblock and held Larson at bay. With 15 laps to go, Larson pulled off the eventual race-winning pass. Larson survived one final before capturing this third-career victory in the series.
“Really fun track there,” Larson said. “Especially the truck, you know, 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 to Bono (crew chief, Kevin Manion) and everybody on this team.”
The win marked Spire Motorsports’ second-ever victory in the series. William Byron captured the first win at Martinsville Speedway last year. Alex Bowman was originally slated to run the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports at North Wilkesboro Speedway, but he’s sidelined due to a back injury. On Saturday, Larson became only the third different series winner at North Wilkesboro Speedway, joining Mike Bliss in 1995 and Mark Martin in 1996.
Ty Majeski finished second in the ThorSport Racing No. 98 Soda Sense/Curb Records ford. His team placed two Goodyear tires on his truck during the final stop, earning him 10 positions off pit road. The move paid off as he held his ground to earn his sixth top-five of the season.
“Larson was just better,” Majeski said. “I wasn’t gonna drive into one and move him. We were lucky just to be in that spot. We just really missed it today. We got off sequence a little bit and then Joe took two tires at the end and got us some track position and we were able to hold them off.”
Matt DiBenedetto raced his way to a third-place finish after bouncing off the wall in the closing laps. Carson Hocevar and Wallace rounded out the top-five.
“The way the cautions fell, which is not going to change up your mindset, but none of us know how hard is too hard, when there is 30 laps left,” Wallace said. “When we have 70 laps left, we have a good gauge on how hard I can push. All-in-all, good day. I appreciate the opportunity with TRICON and everybody at Pristine Auction. Thanks for coming on board. It’s just frustrating. Last weekend, we could have won the race. This weekend, it would have been fun to battle more with Larson, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Completing the top-10 on Saturday was polesitter Corey Heim, Matt Crafton, Chase Purdy, Ross Chastain and Grant Enfinger.
Heim won Stage 1, and Larson won Stages 2 and 3.
There were six lead changes among five drivers. Larson dominated the day, leading a race high of 138 laps.
The caution flag flew on 12 occasions for 81 laps.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 26 for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FS1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Mitchell White/TheFourthTurn.com