This week’s NASCAR event in the Martinsville Speedway kicks off today (Thursday, April 7). This gave NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson just enough time to sneak over to the Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, North Carolina, on Wednesday for a Micro division race.
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion has been suffering from a bit of bad luck this year. Though he holds three top-5 finishes, Kyle Larson also has three DNFs and a 29th place finish. That said, he’s had quite a bit of luck off the Cup Series track, capturing a win in a sprint car race on the same day of the Ruoff Mortgage 500 qualifying laps.
This week, Kyle Larson found success once again, this time in the non-winged 600cc Micro division race in Salisbury. Far from the only NASCAR driver on the track, Larson competed against Cup Series drivers Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick, as well as Xfinity Series driver Brandon Jones and Truck Series driver Sheldon Creed.
With only 30 laps in the 1/8-mile dirt oval, the pressure to gain and maintain the lead was immense. But Larson, no stranger to pressure, took the lead from ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love after just 5 laps. Kyle Larson led the remainder of the race, finishing in first place with Christopher Bell sliding in behind him for second.
Kyle Larson Prepares for Martinsville Following Micro Division Race at Millbridge
Kyle Larson already has a win to his name this week, but the toughest race is still to come. On Saturday night, he’ll roll onto the Martinsville Speedway for this year’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. That said, the No. 5 driver isn’t worried. Instead, he’s hoping to use the momentum he created at Millbridge to top his 5th place finish of last year.
In an interview with WDBJ7 news, Larson detailed his thoughts and feelings heading into Martinsville. “I’d be stressing out a little bit more if we weren’t fast,” Larson said. “At least we’re fast. We have a win and a second and then the rest are DNF so it hasn’t been great. But at least we do have that win and we’re locked in the playoffs. That’s always great. And yeah, our car’s been fast, so I’m not too stressed out about it.”
“I know…I mean, it’s just how racing goes sometimes. We’ll get out of the little bit of slump I guess that we might be in,” Larson continued with a laugh. “And try and get back on the train.”
“Martinsville’s got a lot of history. It’s been a track that I’ve struggled at but I enjoy going there because it’s a challenge. And yeah, I would love to somehow add my name to the list of winners at that historic race track. To take home a grandfather clock would be amazing. So, excited to get back there.”
“I feel like the Next Gen car will better suit me for that place, with the better brakes and more grip in the tires, stuff like that. It’s still Martinsville,” Larson concluded. “It’ll be fun. It’ll be beatin’ and bangin’ and I’m sure [there will be] some tempers flaring at some point.”