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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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NASCAR stars spent off week getting in touch with racing roots

Photo: Kyle Larson
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Thanks to comments by Cup driver Kyle Larson and members of the media, there’s been a surge of talk about NASCAR needing to reach grassroots racing fans.

With all of NASCAR enjoying its first full off week, some drivers did their part for the cause last weekend as they fulfilled their need for speed.

Larson himself was one of them, as the Chip Ganassi Racing driver won a Sprint Car Challenge Tour event at Placerville Speedway in California. It was his second race at the 1/4-mile track in the last month. The Cup points leader took his No. 57 car to the lead halfway through the 40-lap race and beat out 15-year-old Giovanni Scelzi according to the Sacramento Bee.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch took his talents to Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina, for a Super Late Model race.

Busch piloted his No. 51b car in the Easter Bunny 150, but it was a short night for the 2015 Cup champion. Busch’s run ended 15 laps into the 150-lap event due to mechanical problems.

Elsewhere, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Camping World Truck Series driver Christopher Bell competed in Texas.

On Thursday, Kahne started a three-day marathon by finishing 20th in the Gator Outlaw Bash at Gator Motoroplex in Willis, Texas.

The weekend continued with a two-day World of Outlaws event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas as Kahne was joined by Stewart and Bell.

In Friday’s 25-lap feature, Kahne finished 11th, Stewart placed 14th and Bell finished 18th. Saturday night went about as well for Kahne and Stewart in the 30-lap feature. Kahne finished 16th and Stewart 22nd. Meanwhile, Bell finished fourth as Brad Sweet, a Kasey Kahne Racing driver, won the event.

Aside from Bell and Stewart, these NASCAR drivers will return to their full-time jobs this weekend. The Cup series is back in action at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 on Sunday. While Larson leads the points, Busch is seventh and still seeks his first win of the season.

Kahne is 17th in the standings and is trying to earn his first victory since 2014 (Atlanta).

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NAPA sponsoring Kasey Kahne Racing in World of Outlaws

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NAPA Auto Parts has announced it will sponsor Kasey Kahne Racing’s entry in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series with Brad Sweet in 2017.

Sweet, a 21-time winner in the series, will drive the No. 49 sprint car with NAPA on the car for 42 of 90 races.

Sweet is the 2014 Rookie of the Year in the series.

“I’m excited to be part of the NAPA Racing family,” said Sweet in a press release. “I can’t thank them enough for coming on board and look forward to working with a company that is so ingrained in the motorsports community. Everyone works so hard at KKR and we can’t wait to put the NAPA car in victory lane.”

Kasey Kahne Racing, owned by the Hendrick Motorsports driver, has won over 120 World of Outlaws feature events, including the series championship with driver Daryn Pittman in 2013.

NAPA is a sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports.

“It’s a great opportunity for KKR and Brad to work with a company that’s been part of auto racing for many years,” said Kahne in the press release. “We had a NAPA in Enumclaw, Wash, where I grew up, and we bought a lot of parts there. It’s going to be awesome working together for the 2017 season and we’re really looking forward to winning races with them.”

The World of Outlaws season begins Feb. 15-19, 2017 at the Dirt Car Nationals at Volusia County Speedway in Barber, Florida.

Team co-owned by Kyle Larson wins opening night feature at Knoxville Nationals

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Shane Stewart, who drives for Larson Marks Racing, the team co-owned by Kyle Larson and Justin Marks, won the 25-lap feature Wednesday in the opening night of the Knoxville Nationals.

Action continues Thursday at Knoxville Raceway with the 56th Knoxville Nationals being held Saturday night.

Wednesday’s win marked the third year in a row that Stewart has won a preliminary night feature at the Knoxville Nationals. Stewart won with a sprint car sponsored by the Jeff Gordon Foundation. Gordon was in attendance.

Donny Schatz, who has won nine of the past 10 Knoxville Nationals and drives for Tony Stewart Racing, finished second in the feature race. Daryn Pittman, who drives for Kasey Kahne Racing, was fourth. Rico Abreu, who competes in the Camping World Truck Series, placed ninth in the 24-car field. Abreu won his heat race earlier in the evening.

Full results from Wednesday’s action is here.

Thursday’s schedule includes Larson competing, along with Brad Sweet, who drives for Kasey Kahne’s team, and former NASCAR driver Dave Blaney. Also, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will pace the field in Bryan Clauson’s car, honoring his close friend who died Sunday from injuries suffered in a midget race last weekend.