Larson Shines in California; Kneeland ‘Glad to be part of it’
Derek Kneeland of Windham, ME had the best view for Kyle Larson’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on Saturday afternoon. Kneeland works as the spotter for the Elk Grove, CA driver at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Turner Scott Motorsports. Larson’s #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet won the TreatMyClot.com 300 by .342 second over Sprint Cup regulars Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, who led an event high 96 laps. Pole sitter Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five.
Larson has made all of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide starts with Turner Scott Motorsports. Larson was named the Sunoco Rookie of the Year last season with four second place finishes in Nationwide. Larson’s current streak of six consecutive top 10s is two shy of his career best.
Although now a Mooresville, NC resident, Kneeland was overwhelmed by supporters from his first Nationwide victory through 49 text messages and Facebook.
“That’s when you really get to see the support from all the people back home and that’s just great,” Kneeland said. “I’m just trying to do my thing and I’m just another guy who is one of the 43 up there that gets to do what they love to do. It just means a lot when you have all those people that not only look up to you but are really proud of the accomplishments that you’ve made. … It just feels so good. I’m still just smiling ear to ear to get this win. I’m just really fortunate.”