$50,000 Lighter Kyle Larson Disappoints Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Late-Race Stumble Robs Lernerville Crown

Published 09/27/2023, 9:19 AM EDT

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. might have retired from Cup Series racing six years ago, but his love for the sport still runs deep. Apart from running a successful racing team at JR Motorsports, he also occasionally takes part in races, like last weekend’s Xfinity race at Bristol. Junior is also a massive supporter of local racing events. Recently, he witnessed the High Limits Sprint Car Series’ Commonwealth Clash at the Lernerville Speedway, where he was disappointed by Cup Series hopeful and competition founder Kyle Larson.

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Despite being in a tight battle in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, Kyle Larson took the time to participate in the Commonwealth Clash to keep Dale Jr.’s request. Earlier this week, the Hendrick Motorsports driver revealed that it was actually Junior who urged him to take part in the race so that he could attend the event, and the former Cup Series driver kept his word.

Kyle Larson lost control of his car, much like Texas

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However, Kyle Larson was not able to win the race in front of the NASCAR Hall of Famer and a packed venue. Rather, the Hendrick Motorsports star suffered quite an embarrassing hiccup on the dirt track of the Lernerville Speedway. Larson was driving the #57 car, and most people would have predicted him to at least finish in the top 3, but things did not exactly go according to plan.

Leading the race with just 9 laps to go, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that one of the best drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series was going to win the Commonwealth Clash and bag himself $50,000. However, much like what happened in Texas, Larson lost control of his car right at the end and tumbled out of contention for the win.

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The High Limit Racing driver did manage to finish the race, albeit in eighth place. It might have been disappointing for Junior to see him make the error, but it was nonetheless an enjoyable day at Lernerville for the former Cup Series driver.

After the race, Junior said, “It’s awesome. Having a lot of fun. It’s fun to watch the track change a little bit.”

The race ended with sprint car driver David Gravel passing Brad Sweet for the lead of the race towards the end of the event and holding on to his position despite a strong fightback from Sweet to take the checkered flag and earn himself a $50,000 payday.

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David Gravel was over the moon with his victory as he took to Twitter to share the joy of winning the race multiple times. Despite making a crucial mistake that cost him a potential race win, it was a good day for Larson, who witnessed just how good the drivers in his competition were.

Gravel drove the #2 car for Big Game Motorsports and took the lead in the race with just five laps to go. After fending off Brad Sweet and taking the checkered flag, the 31-year-old sprint car driver celebrated his victory with a lot of pomp and took to social media later on.

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“What a night! So pumped to get the job done tonight. The boys had my car awesome for the feature. 50k on a Tuesday is not too bad! Didn’t get to meet @DaleJr so my night wasn’t complete but was happy to get back to @Lernerville Speedway one of my top 3 tracks,” Gravel tweeted.

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Watch This Story | Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reveals the Immediate Regret After Entering Bristol

For Kyle Larson, it was nice to get away from the disappointment that was in Texas and be present at a successful event for a competition that he founded. There can be no doubt that the High Limits Sprint Car Series is a success and is on an upward trajectory.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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