Larson Captures K&N Pro Series East Crown With Sixth-Place Finish At Rockingham

Kyle Larson, driver of the #6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota, stands with the trophy for the season championship after the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Classic 3 Championship at Rockingham Speedway on November 3, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota, stands with the trophy for the season championship after the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Classic 3 Championship at Rockingham Speedway on November 3, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — The 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship came down to the last lap of the season and when the smoke cleared at Rockingham Speedway, rookie Kyle Larson won his first NASCAR title. It marks the first NASCAR touring championship for Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity.

The 20-year-old Larson, from Elk Grove, Calif., also won the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year, joining only Joey Logano and Ryan Truex in the 26-year history of the series to accomplish that feat of earning the championship in their rookie years.

“I’ve been lucky a lot this year … and just stayed consistent and got the championship,” Larson said.  “It feels great.  I have to thank the whole Rev Racing team, Toyota and everyone that helps out on this team, and the NASCAR diversity program for giving me this opportunity to run.”

Larson will be crowned the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion at the NASCAR Touring Awards on Dec. 10 at in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Tyler Reddick, 16, earned the victory in the Classic 3 Championship presented by RCR Racing Museum in a wild finish. Reddick, who was making his series debut, got a run on race leader – and championship contender – Brett Moffitt coming out of Turn 2 toward the checkered flag. Moffitt came up on Reddick, made contact, and went spinning onto the grass. Reddick then came around to take the yellow and checkered flags.

A sixth-place finish by Larson was enough to give him the title by 15 points over Corey LaJoie. LaJoie also finished second to Reddick in Saturday’s race.

Moffitt, who was in position to clinch the title if he would have avoided the accident on the final lap for the win, finished the race 21st and third in points, 24 points back.

Kwasniewski Can Claim Title

Dylan Kwasniewski, 17, heads into the final race weekend for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Phoenix International Raceway with a slim two-point lead over teammate Greg Pursley. The veteran Pursley is the defending series champion, while Kwasniewski was the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year last season. The Casino Arizona 50 will be Saturday at 5 p.m.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.