Kyle Larson Wins the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Gresham in Georgia

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Bryan Ortiz sliding down the backstretch after a wreck.
Bryan Ortiz sliding down the backstretch after a wreck.
A newcomer and a part-timer took the spotlight away from the top drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia. Rookie Kyle Larson won the Slack Auto Parts 150, the first of his K&N Pro Series East career, taking the lead on lap 146 and holding it for the last five laps of the race.

Cale Conley, making only his third start of the K&N Pro Series East this season, won the pole and led the first 145 laps of the race. But he spun his tires on the final restart allowing Larson to pass for the lead. "I just got lucky there," said Larson, a driver from Elk Grove, California. "I spun my tires really bad and fell back to fourth and we got a red and they put me back up to second. I started on the inside row and just didn't spin my tires. I beat him into (turn) 1 on the restart."
Kyle Larson thanking the fans from victory lane.
Kyle Larson thanking the fans from victory lane.

Larson won the pole, led for 35 laps and finished fifth in the K&N Pro Series East race at Bowman Gray Stadium on June 2. He has three top-five finishes in six K&N Pro Series East races. Conley held on for second place giving him two top-fives in three K&N Pro Series East starts. He said after the race being the runner-up left a sting, though. "Next time I'm definitely not going to spin the tires," Conley said. "Gosh, I'm going to think about this one all the way home. This is going to be frustrating, Second place in a NASCAR race, this is what we dream of. We're here. We're all healthy. We're all blessed to be here. Let's looks at the positives, not at the negatives."

Brett Moffitt was third, his fourth top-five finish in K&N Pro Series East races. "We had a really good car," Moffitt said. "It's tough racing here. It's all about where you start on a restart whether you're going forward or backward. It came down to the end there and we were in a decent spot. I guess we were lucky to hang on to third. It was a rough night, but hopefully we'll go to Langley and run a little bit better."

Chase Elliott, the leader in the K&N Pro Series East standings after six races, finished in 12th place at Gresham. Larson moved up to second place in the East Series standings with the win. He is three points behind Elliott. Larson is also the sixth different winner and the third first-time winner in six K&N Pro Series East races this year. Larson said after the race he had to make adjustments throughout the race, especially after caution periods. "We definitely didn't have the best car on the short runs," said Larson. "We probably were the best car on the longer runs, but we kept getting all the yellows."

Corey LaJoie, who won the previous K&N Pro Series East race at Bowman Gray Stadium, was fourth at Gresham. Ben Kennedy was fifth.

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