Kyle Larson charges to starting spot for Knoxville Nationals

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Kyle Larson went from 21st to second in his qualifying feature race early Friday morning to secure a starting spot in Saturday night’s Knoxville Nationals. He will start Saturday night’s race third.

Larson’s run capped a dramatic night at the half-mile Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway for the driver who won last weekend’s Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup race.

MORE: Could NASCAR’s next great rivalry be Larson vs. Bell?

Larson finished fifth in his heat race and failed to advance to feature. The top four advanced. That sent him to the B main. He won that to start 21st in the 24-car A main.

On the second lap of the 25-lap feature, Larson weaved through six-car crash unscathed, helping him gain track position. He went on to finish second to Brian Brown. The race ended at 2:10 a.m. ET. The start of the evening’s schedule was delayed more than two hours by rain. Former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne had fast time in qualifying and finished sixth in the feature. He will start seventh in Saturday night’s Knoxville Nationals.

Larson will start Saturday night’s Knoxville Nationals third. He has never won that race, the highest profile sprint car race he has yet to win.

“I got extremely lucky missing that big wreck,” Larson said, according to a World of Outlaws release. “That deal took out a lot of good people, so I think I came from like 10th, you know, not the very back. This is my favorite week of the year. I can’t wait for Saturday.”

Larson’s Saturday will start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cup teams practice on the IMS road course from 11:05 – 11:55 a.m. ET. After completing duties at the track, he’ll head to Knoxville to compete in Saturday night’s event. He’ll return after the Nationals for Cup qualifying Sunday morning and the Cup race Sunday (1 p.m. ET on NBC).