Rookie of the Year
Before the start of the awards ceremonies that honored all of Cycleland’s six divisions the annual 100 lap races were run and Larson competed in the final event that combined all three of the track’s 500cc divisions – Open, Open Intermediates and Sportsman. Larson drove his ParkerStore/Grandpa George Motors/QRC Factory Kart to fast time to earn the pole position over the 28 kart field in the century grind. Larson took the lead at the start and dominated the first 31 laps of the race. After pitting at that point Larson emerged fifth in the restart lineup. While still running in fifth ten laps later contact with another kart in turn four knocked Larson’s chain off, ending his attempt to win his third 100 lap event in three years. Tyler Reddick drove flawlessly and went on to win the race of attrition that saw ten of the top 11 qualifiers and nearly ¾ of the field eliminated before the checkered flag.
At the conclusion of the day’s festivities Larson stated, “I’m a little disappointed having to drop out of the 100 lapper. It’s a fun race with the pit stop strategy and all. I was just kind of riding along, knowing that we had hard tires that could make it to the end. I figured some cars ahead of me would start dropping out and I would work my way back up there. But I didn’t plan on being one to exit the race. But, unfortunately, that’s what happened to me and a lot of other top contenders. The main purpose of today, however, was the awards banquet and I’m very honored to be the Cycleland Speedway Open Division champion and Rookie of the Year. This championship is real special to me because of it being my tenth championship and first in the Open Division. Cycleland is such a long season and so many things can go wrong, but my dad and Sean Sheppard gave me the kart to do it with. I have had a real good run here this season- the Open Championship and Rookie of the Year, leading both my divisions in main events wins, winning the Open Intermediate division at the Golden State Championship event, winning the QRC Cup in the Opens and setting the all time track record last week are achievements I’m real proud of. None of this would have been possible without all the great sponsors that support my racing- ParkerStore, QRC, Inc., RPM –Indoor Kart Racing, JW Web Design, MotoWear, Corning Ford Mercury –KIA, Broken Bow Records, Hampton Inn & Suites, Del’s Machine Shop, WYNN’s, Earl’s Indy, Care-Free Pools, HOD-Heaven on Dirt, LFT Technologies Inc. – Safety Solutions, Rossi Auto Body, Grandpa George Motors, and Platinum Powdercoating. I couldn’t do this without them and cannot thank them enough.”
Larson’s career to date shows: 508 starts with 129 main event wins, 271 top three’s, 351 top five’s, 114 fast times, 65 trophy dash wins, 10 track and series championships, 4 National Championships, 9 Perpetual Trophy Championships, 4 Golden State Championships, (27 total championships), , 4 Rookie of the Year awards, Driver of the Year and Sportsman of the Year.
Race: October 7, 2006