Donny Schatz

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Kyle Larson finishes 2nd at Knoxville Nationals

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Kyle Larson finished second to Donny Schatz in Saturday night’s Knoxville Nationals sprint car race. Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, won the event for the 10th time. Only Steve Kinser has won the Knoxville Nationals more times at 12.

Larson qualified for Saturday night’s A-main – one of the premier events on the sprint car calendar – after winning his qualifying race Wednesday night. Larson’s status for Saturday was in question until Friday.

Larson’s agreement with car owner Chip Ganassi to run sprint car races prevents him from racing those cars a night before he is to be on track in his Monster Energy Cup car. Ganassi gave Larson permission to run the race. Larson also has a deal with Ganassi to run no more than 25 sprint car races a year.

“It’s … neat I got to race,” Larson said in the press conference after the race. “In the months leading up to this event, I planned on Wednesday night but figured I would have no shot at racing Saturday. If it wasn’t for Chip, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve got to thank him a lot.

“I hope I can convince Chip to let me do this every year.”

Larson turns his focus on winning a Cup race at Michigan International Speedway for the third consecutive time. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:16 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.

“Hopefully, he can go win Michigan,” Schatz said after the Knoxville Nationals.

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Kyle Larson wins World of Outlaws race

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Kyle Larson used a late-race charge to win Tuesday night’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series race at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway.

Larson passed Daryn Pittman, who drives for Kasey Kahne‘s team, with two laps to go to win. Larson was racing for a team co-owned by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Shane Stewart, who drives for the team co-owned by Larson and Justin Marks, finished third. Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, placed fourth. Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, finished fifth.

Larson was second in qualifying to Kerry Madsen and won his heat race.

The feature victory is Larson’s first of the season.

Click here for more on the race and complete results.

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Tony Stewart makes return to sprint car racing

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Tony Stewart finished 17th Thursday night in the season-opening Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series race at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida.

The race marked the first of what Stewart has said would be about 80 races he’ll run this year since he’s no longer driving in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He’s not released a full schedule and had not announced where he’d make his return. A team spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that Stewart is scheduled to race with the series Friday and Saturday at Bubba Raceway Park.

Stewart explained last month his reasoning for being coy about his schedule.

“I think we’re just going to drop in for a while now,” Stewart said. “I like it on the nights that fans know we’re going because we get to see fans passionate about what we did on the Cup side, but at the same time, it makes it more hectic in the pit area to do our job, and right now, I just want to get back to driving the race cars again.

“We need to keep it simple for a while before we let everyone know where we’re going.”

Stewart started on the pole in his heat race and finished sixth Thursday. He started second and finished second in the B feature, advancing to the A feature. He started 20th in that race.

Stewart’s teammate, Donny Schatz won the A feature.

Stewart, who owns the series for 410 winged sprint cars, wasn’t the only driver with NASCAR experience in the event. Rico Abreu, who competed in the Camping World Truck Series last year, was 11th.

The race also marked the first time Stewart has competed in a sprint car since August 9, 2014, when his car struck Kevin Ward Jr. during an Empire Super Sprint Series race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. Ward died from the injuries he suffered. Stewart was cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury, but a lawsuit brought by Ward’s family remains in the court system. A mediation deadline was recently extended to April 21. 

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