Gateway Dirt Nationals

Photo: Kyle Larson official Twitter page

Kyle Larson roars to big win in Gateway Dirt Nationals finals

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Missouri is the Show Me State – and that’s exactly what NASCAR Cup star Kyle Larson did in Saturday’s finale of the three-night Gateway Dirt Nationals in St. Louis.

After winning Friday night’s Main A race, Larson showed everyone watching why he’s such an outstanding driver on dirt, picking up where he left to also capture Saturday night’s midget class 30-lap feature finale at The Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis..

 

Chris Windom was a close second, followed by Tyler Courtney, Tanner Thorson and NASCAR Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Two other NASCAR drivers were in the second five finishers, with Christopher Bell finishing eighth and Chase Briscoe 10th.

NBC Sports reporter Dylan Welch failed in the last chance qualifying race earlier in the evening to make the final, as did Ryan Newman, competing in his first weekend of midget racing on dirt in more than 19 years.

Larson started from the pole but fell back early. After making several bids to regain the lead, he finally managed to get back in front on Lap 15 and would hold on for the remaining 15 laps to take the checkered flag and the $10,000 first place prize.

But while Kyle took the win, son Owen stole the show when it came to celebrating his father’s win, according to social media. For the record, Owen had been practicing Thursday and Friday.

Then came the real deal for the young Larson on Saturday after his father took the checkered flag:

 

Also, one night after he won Friday’s Main A by .02 seconds, Tyler Carpenter once again won by mere inches, defeating Brandon Sheppard in Saturday’s Super Late Model final to capture the $10,000 first place prize.

 

There was high drama during one of the last chance qualifying races for the Super Late Models when Gordy Gundaker and Kevin Smith tangled on-track, with Smith ending up upside-down.

 

Gundaker went after Smith but the two drivers never came to blows:

 

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Kyle Larson wins, advances to tonight’s Gateway Dirt Nationals finale

Gateway Dirt Nationals
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NASCAR Cup star Kyle Larson captured Friday night’s Main A feature in the second night of the three-night Gateway Dirt Nationals at The Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.

After winning his heat race earlier in the evening, Larson powered on to take the checkered flag again in the main event, holding off Cannon McIntosh, Michael Pickens, Tanner Thorson and Cole Bodine.

NBC Sports’ reporter Dillon Welch finished sixth, Gio Scelzi (son of four-time NHRA drag racing champ Gary Scelzi) was seventh, followed by Jonathan Beason, Sean McClellan and Robert Digby.

Two other NASCAR notables, Chase Briscoe and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12th and 16th, respectively.

Larson took home a $5,000 prize and advances to Saturday’s main event.

Joining Larson, Welch, Briscoe and Stenhouse in tonight’s midgets main event will be Ryan Newman and Christopher Bell, who both competed in Thursday night’s Main A, finishing 11th and 15th, respectively.

 

In the evening’s late model Main A event, Tyler Carpenter won a close battle with Tanner English by .02 of a second to take home the $5,000 winner’s prize and advance to Saturday’s big showdown.

 

Lastly, veteran NASCAR driver and St. Louis native Kenny Wallace finished 15th in the Modified class Main A feature due to a blown motor.

 

The main event for all three categories – midgets, modifieds and super late models – begins Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. The winner of each race will take home $10,000 apiece.

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Ryan Newman 11th, Christopher Bell 15th in first night of Gateway Dirt Nationals

Photo courtesy Ryan Newman official Twitter page
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Even though he hasn’t driven a midget car on dirt for nearly 20 years, it was like getting back on a bicycle for NASCAR Cup star Ryan Newman in Thursday night’s midget Main A event on the first of the three-night Arizona Sport Shirts Gateway Dirt Nationals at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

Newman finished 11th  in the 17-car field, 9.543 seconds behind winner Thomas Meseraull, who pocketed $3,000 for taking the checkered flag.

Budding NASCAR star Christopher Bell was knocked out of the race after just five laps when something broke in his suspension, relegating him to a 15th-place finish, 15 laps down to Meseraull.

 

As for the other competitors in the midget Main A, Justin Grant finished second, followed by Blake Hahn, Chris Windom, Logan Seavey, Anton Hernandez, Tyler Courtney, Andrew Felker, Paul Nienhiser, Austin Brown, Newman, Tim Crawley, Ace McCarthy, Sam Johnson, Bell, Karter Sarff and Daniel Robinson in 17th.

The three-day Gateway Dirt Nationals feature midget cars, modifieds and super late models. Four more familiar names will put the pedal to the metal on Friday, including Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chase Briscoe and NBC Sports reporter Dillon Welch will compete in the prelims.

In addition, former NASCAR driver and St. Louis native Kenny Wallace is entered in Friday’s modified preliminary race.

The main event for all three categories is scheduled to begin Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. The winner of each race will be awarded $10,000.

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Ryan Newman among NASCAR drivers entered in Gateway Dirt Nationals

Ryan Newman
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Several NASCAR drivers are entered into this weekend’s Arizona Sport Shirts Gateway Dirt Nationals in St. Louis, which features midget cars, modifieds and super late models.

The three-night event runs from Thursday through Saturday and will be held at The Dome at America’s Center and will feature the likes of Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., incoming Cup Series rookie Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and NBC Sports reporter Dillon Welch.

All six of them will be competing in the midget portion of the event.

Newman and Bell will race in the Thursday night preliminary. Larson, Stenhouse, Briscoe and Welch are entered in the Friday night preliminary.

Former NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace is competing in the modifieds portion of the event. He is in the Friday night preliminary event.

On-track activity for both nights begins at 4 p.m. ET

The main event for all three categories is scheduled for Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. The winner of each race will be awarded $10,000.