Kyle Larson wowed by first trip to Tazewell Speedway

Kyle Larson congratulating Jonathan Davenport in Tazewell victory lane

Most people are quite amazed when they see the Tazewell Speedway for the first time. The third-mile dirt track which features incredibly steep banking has long been loved by fans for its high speed excitement. At the same, some competitors also love the facility referred to as ‘The Bad Fast Taz’ while others who race there have a very different opinion of the clay oval.

Count NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson among those who loves racing on the track located in the upper northeastern corner of Tennessee. The Elk Grove, CA driver made his first trip to Tazewell on Saturday night to compete in the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals/Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Series co-sanctioned ‘Lil Bill Corum Memorial’ that paid out $21,000 to the feature winner.

Larson won the fourth heat race which placed the K&L Rumley Enterprises No. 6 machine in the fourth starting spot for the 75-lap feature race. ‘Yung Money’ ultimately came home second in that race after chasing eventual winner and fellow Longhorn Chassis driver Jonathan Davenport while battling third finishing Tyler Erb for much of the way.

This result mirrored that of two weeks ago when Larson finished in the runner-up position behind Davenport in the $50,000 Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

In his post-race interview with following the Corum Memorial, Larson offered thoughts on his first time in competition at Tazewell.

“It’s awesome,” Larson declared. “I’ve been to places that are banked, but nothing quite like this. It’s an awesome place. I’ve watched a little bit in years past, but getting to come here, videos and pictures don’t do it any justice. This place is extremely banked and a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ll get to come back sometime in the future.”

Kyle Larson on the high banks of Tazewell Speedway

Dirt Late Model racing is relatively new to Larson who has entered only a few events in that form of the sport since pairing with noted engineer Kevin Rumley late last season. Prior to that, the 28-year-old was primarily known for his prowess on dirt in a Sprint Car. The possibility of taking one of those types of machines around Tazewell intrigues the driver who won more than 30 features in 2020.

“Oh, heck yeah,” Larson insisted when asked about racing a Sprint Car there. “This place would be so much fun in a winged Sprint Car. I said on the way up here that I’m amazed that the World of Outlaws don’t really come to this region. Maybe someday. It would be really, really cool and I’d love to rip a 410 around here.”

Larson and the NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action this coming weekend at the Martinsville Speedway for the ‘Blu Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500’. The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet currently sits fourth in the 2021 Cup Series standings with one win to his credit.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association

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