Kyle Larson

5

Early career


Larson racing a USAC midget in 2012

Born on July 31, 1992 in Elk Grove, California, Larson attended his first race with his parents a week after his birth. He began racing at the age of seven in outlaw karts in Northern California. As a teenager, he raced open-wheel cars, including United States Auto Club (USAC) midget, Silver Crown and sprint cars, competing for Keith Kunz Motorsports and Hoffman Racing with Toyota backing;[2] During his early career in USAC, a series official gave Larson the nickname "Yung Money" in recognition of his talent.[3][4] He also raced in World of Outlaws sprint cars. His first sprint car race win came at Placerville Speedway, where he was one of the youngest drivers to ever compete. He won the 2011 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, winning in all three types of USAC cars in a single night, only the second driver in history to accomplish the feat.[5] He won two Silver Crown races that season and was awarded the series' 2011 Rookie of the Year.[6] He holds the sprint car track record at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California, set in 2010.[7] In 2012, he won six USAC National Midget races including the Turkey Night Grand Prix.[8] Even during his stock car career, Larson continued racing open-wheel cars for midweek races in addition to going to New Zealand in some off-seasons to race.[9]


Stock cars

Touring series


Larson's 2012 K&N Pro Series East championship car

While he expressed some interest in IndyCar racing,[2] Larson was signed for the 2012 racing season by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (EGR) as part of the team's driver development program.[10] In February 2012, at the Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna Speedway, Larson made his first start in a full-bodied stock car and won the race, leading only the final lap.[11][12] A week later, he won again at the speedway during the World Series of Asphalt.[13] Larson ran full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, driving for Rev Racing. In the first race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Larson finished 9th after starting 6th. At the Bowman Gray Stadium, Larson started on the pole and later finished 5th.[14] He won his first K&N Pro Series East win at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia.[15] Larson earned his 2nd career win at New Hampshire.[16] On June 15, 2012, Larson made his ARCA Racing Series debut at Michigan International Speedway, driving for Eddie Sharp Racing;[16] he finished 13th in the event.[17] On November 3, 2012, Larson won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship with two wins and twelve top tens in 14 races, overcoming the five wins of Corey LaJoie (son of two-time Busch Series champion Randy). Larson also named the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year.[18] On June 7, 2014, Larson won his first ARCA win at Pocono Raceway from the pole.[19][20]


Truck Series


Larson's race-winning No. 30 truck at Rockingham in 2013

In late June 2012, Larson made his Camping World Truck Series debut at Kentucky Speedway, driving the No. 4 Chevrolet Silverado for Turner Motorsports. He finished 10th in the event.[21][22]


In April 2013, Larson won his first Truck Series win at Rockingham Speedway in a close finish with Joey Logano.[23] During the celebration, Larson performed donuts without his steering wheel on, a practice he had acquired when racing go karts. The celebration prompted NASCAR to request him to keep it attached, regarding safety concerns because Larson would not have much control of the truck without the steering wheel. He finished 2nd in the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.[24]


In 2016, Larson drove the No. 24 truck on a part-time basis for GMS Racing.[25] At Martinsville, Larson finished 4th after starting 5th.[26] He won at Eldora Speedway after holding off Christopher Bell after being penalized one lap early in the event.[27]


In 2020, Larson announced he would be re-joining GMS Racing to drive the No. 24 truck for the Homestead race, pursuing a bounty offered by Kevin Harvick to full-time Cup drivers to beat Kyle Busch.[28] Following his suspension from NASCAR, Larson was released from the team.[29]


Larson returned to the Truck Series in 2021, driving the No. 44 truck for Niece Motorsports in the new Bristol dirt race.[30] He finished 35th in the race.


Xfinity Series


Larson during his Nationwide Series rookie season in 2013.


Larson's No. 32 Nationwide Series car at Road America in 2013

In 2013, Larson moved full-time to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the No. 32 Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports.[31] On the last lap of the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, he was involved in a violent crash in which his car went airborne and pierced the catchfence, completely ripping the front end of his car off. He was unharmed, but the debris hurt several spectators in the stands.[32] In the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Larson was sent off the track and into the tire barriers on lap one. However, after falling three laps down due to repairs, Larson recovered to finish on the lead lap in 14th. Larson won the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Asian-American and first Drive for Diversity participant to win a Rookie of the Year Award in one of NASCAR's national touring series.[33]


In 2014, while Larson moved full-time to the Cup Series, he drove the No. 42 car on a part-time basis. At Bristol, Larson started on the pole and finished 2nd to Kyle Busch. On March 22, Larson won his first ever Nationwide Series win at Auto Club Speedway, holding off Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.[34][35] In victory lane, Larson stated, "Those last 11, 12 laps were the longest laps of my life. I've been so close to winning so many times, but the fashion we did it in was extra special." Larson once again celebrated by doing burnouts in the infield without a steering wheel.[36][37] On May 24, Larson earned his second career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, edging Brad Keselowski.


In 2015, Larson drove the No. 42 car part-time for HScott Motorsports, sharing the ride with 2 other drivers. At Daytona, Larson finished 8th after being spun out on the last lap. He won at Homestead-Miami Speedway after holding off Austin Dillon, and the first win for HScott Motorsports.[38]


In 2016, Larson continued to drive the No. 42 part-time for Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR). During the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Larson passed Joey Logano with 15 laps to go and nearly won the race until a caution came out with 2 laps to go. Larson lost the race to Denny Hamlin and finished 6th. Larson won at Pocono after the race was called due to rain on lap 53. He would win again later in the season at Texas Motor Speedway.



Larson's No. 42 Xfinity Series car at Dover in 2017

Larson ran 11 Xfinity races in 2017. He won at Auto Club Speedway after holding off Joey Logano. Larson won at Richmond International Raceway. He also won at Dover after leading 137 laps.


Cup Series

Phoenix Racing

2013

On August 27, 2013, The Charlotte Observer reported that Larson will drive the No. 42 car in the Sprint Cup Series for CGR for the 2014 season and would compete for the Rookie of the Year honors.[39] The deal was officially announced on August 30, 2013.[40][41] On October 1, it was announced that Larson would make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing to prepare for his rookie season.[42] At Charlotte, Larson qualified 21st and finished 37th after an engine failure on lap 247.[43] Larson made his second Cup start at Martinsville Speedway where started 26th and finished 42nd after another engine failure.[44] At Texas, Larson started 36th and finished 23rd. He finished 15th at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Chip Ganassi Racing

2014


Larson racing at Sonoma Raceway in 2014

In his Daytona 500 debut, Larson got into the wall twice, and despite fixing the damage, he spun out on lap 22. Larson finished 38th after being crashed out by Austin Dillon on lap 163.[45] At the Auto Club 400, Larson qualified 11th and later finished second to Kyle Busch.[46][47] At Richmond, Larson recorded a speed of 126.880 miles per hour (204.194 km/h). After qualifying was rained out, Larson started first based on being the fastest in practice.[48] During the race, he was spun out by Clint Bowyer on lap 1, but recovered later and finished 16th.[49] Larson finished ninth at Talladega after starting 29th. He had a very impressive run at Pocono Raceway where he ran in the top ten the entire race and finished fifth. At Michigan, Larson spun out on lap 7; despite that, he spent 33 laps recovering from 43rd to finish eighth.


During the Michigan race, Larson blocked one of his strong supporters Tony Stewart trying to go for the lead; the block damaged Stewart's grille. In response, Stewart tried to retaliate under a yellow-flag period. When told that Stewart was mad at him for the block, Larson shrugged it off replying "Tony being Tony I guess. I was pretty tight on whoever was inside of me on the restart, and I was looking in my mirror and saw him juke to the right so I juked to the right and he hit me, and I don't know, he was just trying to teach me a lesson I'm guessing."[50] Before the Sonoma race Stewart warned Larson, angrily saying "He'll learn not to block me anytime soon."[51] Larson crashed early in the Coke Zero 400 where he finished 36th. He rebounded the next race at Loudon with a third-place finish. Larson finished seventh in the Brickyard 400. He earned his first Cup Series pole at Pocono Raceway where he set the track record with a lap speed of 183.438 mph (295.215 km/h).[52]


Larson missed his chance to make the Chase after poor finishes in the final two regular-season races. At Chicagoland, Larson led 20 laps and finished third. At New Hampshire, Larson finished second to Joey Logano. At Kansas, he finished second again to Logano and his third runner-up finish. At the season finale at Homestead, Larson finished 13th and won the Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year over Austin Dillon with his statistics being higher than other rookie seasons in history, such as those of Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon.


2015


Larson racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2015

In 2015, Larson began the season with a crash in the Daytona 500 where he finished 34th. Larson finished eighth at Las Vegas, his first Top 10 of the year. He finished 10th at Phoenix. During an autograph session at Martinsville Speedway, Larson fainted and was hospitalized. He was replaced by Regan Smith.[53] Two days later, He was released from the hospital with a diagnosis of dehydration as being the cause of the faint.


Larson started on the pole in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway after qualifying was canceled due to rain and finished 35th with two laps down. After a 12th-place finish at Richmond, Larson failed to make the Chase. During the Charlotte race, Larson and Kyle Busch both collided at the entrance of pit road which ended Larson's chances of winning and finished 21st with one lap down.[54]


2016


Larson pulls a burnout following his first career Cup win at the 2016 Pure Michigan 400

Larson started the 2016 season with a seventh-place finish at Daytona, marking his first Top 10 and first non-DNF. Larson ran very well at Martinsville where he finished third. He also had a Top 5 car at Kansas before being caught up in a crash with Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski and finished 35th. At Dover, Larson started 23rd and spent five laps a lap down before getting the free pass on lap 120. Matt Kenseth lead the race with less than 50 laps to go, with Larson in second, chasing him down during the final laps, but couldn't take the advantage of Kenseth's mistakes and finished second. Afterward, Larson stated, "Matt Kenseth, in my eyes is the cleanest racer out there. I didn't want to drive him dirty because he always races me clean. Looking back, I'd do stuff different but my time is coming."[55] At the Sprint Showdown, Larson battled with Chase Elliott for the win in the final segment. While the two made contact as they approached the start/finish line, Larson beat Elliott to lock himself into the All-Star Race.[56] In the All-Star Race, Larson took the lead on the final restart, but was caught by Joey Logano and hit the wall with two laps to go and finished 16th.[57] At the 2016 Pure Michigan 400, Larson won his first-ever Sprint Cup Series race, holding off Chase Elliott. The win also qualified him into the Chase for the first time.[58] In his first Chase appearance, Larson finished 18th at Chicagoland and finished 10th at New Hampshire. He was eliminated from the Round of 16 after a 25th-place finish at Dover. At Homestead, Larson finished second to Jimmie Johnson.


2017


Larson and Chase Elliott battle for the lead in the 2017 FireKeepers Casino 400


Larson waving the checkered flag in the air after winning the 2017 Federated Auto Parts 400 for his fourth win of the season and fifth win of his career

In 2017, Larson took the lead late in the Daytona 500 only to run out of gas on the final lap and finished 12th.[59] At Atlanta, Larson finished 2nd to Brad Keselowski. He would go on to finish second in the next two races at Las Vegas and Phoenix, which allowed him to take the points lead for the first time in his career. Larson earned his second career Cup Series win at the Auto Club 400 after starting from the pole, furthering his points lead.[60] A 17th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway hurt him, but he still maintained a four-point lead over Chase Elliott. In the 2017 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Larson rebounded from struggles early to finish second.[61]


At Michigan International Speedway, Larson picked up his third career pole and then he led 96 laps to get his third career win, holding off Chase Elliott. At the Kentucky race, Larson started at the rear of the field after he was unable to set a qualifying time as he was stuck in an inspection. He finished second to Martin Truex Jr., but lost his points lead when he was penalized 35 points for an improper rear brake cooling assembly;[62] crew chief Chad Johnston was suspended for three races and Tony Lunders took his place. A week later, Larson won the pole at Loudon's Overton's 301, but was forced to surrender it to Truex after failing post-qualifying inspection for an unapproved rear deck fin lid.[63] He finished second in the event after starting 39th. Larson earned his fourth career win at Michigan after making a four-wide pass for the lead with two laps to go.[64] Larson earned his fifth career win at Richmond (and his first win that is not a two-mile track) in the final race of the regular season.[65]


Larson would enter the playoffs as the second seed tied for the most wins in the regular season with four. During the Playoffs, Larson was able to easily get to the round of 12 after scoring Top 5 finishes at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. Unfortunately, Larson would end up being eliminated after the Round of 12 after blowing an engine at Kansas, resulting in a dismal 39th-place finish. He would struggle after being eliminated, finishing 37th at Martinsville and Texas, both due to crashes, and a last-place finish at Phoenix from an expired engine. Larson finished third at Homestead and would finish eighth in the standings. On November 29, Larson was named the Mobil 1 Driver of the Year.[66]


2018


Larson racing at Pocono Raceway in 2018

Despite not winning a race throughout the 2018 season, Larson made it to the Playoffs by staying consistent with five second-place finishes, eight Top 5’s, and 13 Top 10s. Larson started the Playoffs with his sixth runner-up finish of the season to Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas. At the Charlotte Roval race, Larson was involved in a multi-car wreck on a late restart that also included playoff contenders Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Larson's heavily damaged No. 42 car took advantage of Jeffrey Earnhardt being spun out by Daniel Hemric on the final lap and limped across the finish line in 25th place, securing him in the top 12. He experienced further bad luck at the Talladega fall race when he blew a right-front tire and spun out on lap 105. He finished 11th in the race but was docked 10 driver and 10 owner points after the team violated the damaged vehicle policy by using metal tabs instead of fasteners and/or tape to repair the torn right front fender.[67] Larson was eliminated from the Round of 12 after the Kansas fall race despite finishing third. He finished 13th at Homestead and ended up ninth in the points standings, the highest of the winless drivers in 2018 along with a third consecutive Top 10 points finish.


2019


Larson during the Fanzone at the Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2019

Before the start of the 2019 season, Larson lost his primary sponsor DC Solar, whose headquarters had been raided by the FBI. Larson started out the season with a 7th-place finish at Daytona, his first top 10 of the year. On February 19, 2019, McDonald's announced they would serve as a primary sponsor for Kyle Larson throughout the 2019 season. At Atlanta, Larson led over 100 laps before being tagged for speeding on pit road; sending him to the back of the field and finished 12th. On February 26, 2019, Larson sparked controversy on the NBC Sports segment Splash & Go! with host Rick Allen when he jokingly implied that Hendrick Motorsports starts "cheating and finding some speed" a couple of months into the start of a season. He later apologized to Rick Hendrick for his comments.[68][69] At the GEICO 500 at Talladega, Larson was involved in a major accident on the final lap, resulting his car going airborne and rolling over multiple times. He was uninjured and was credited with a 24th-place finish.


On May 18, Larson became only the third driver to win both the Monster Energy Open and the All-Star Race.[70] Larson won the pole at Sonoma for the third straight year and finished 10th in the race. A week later at Chicagoland, Larson finished second after getting passed by Alex Bowman for the lead with six laps to go. After a second-place finish at Darlington, Larson clinched his spot in the playoffs for the fourth straight year despite no wins. He finished 13th at the Charlotte Roval to advance to the Round of 12.[71]


At Dover, Larson started second and went on to score his sixth career win, ending his 75-race winless streak.[72] The win also locked him into the Round of 8 for the first time. Larson finished 39th at Talladega after getting involved in a big crash on lap 108 that left him with a fractured lower rib. He finished 14th at Kansas.[73] Despite finishing 4th at Phoenix, he was eliminated in the Round of 8.[74] At Homestead, Larson finished 40th after suffering an engine failure on lap 209. He ended up sixth in the final points standings, his career-best to date.


2020 and suspension

Larson began the 2020 season with a tenth-place finish in the Daytona 500. During the Auto Club 400, Larson hit the turn one wall after Denny Hamlin collided with him, relegating him to a 21st-place finish.[75] When the season was placed on hold after four races due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Larson was seventh in the point standings with three top-ten finishes.[76]


On April 13, 2020, CGR suspended Larson indefinitely without pay after it became known that during an iRacing event the day before, Larson stated: "You can't hear me? Hey, nigger," believing he had lost communication.[77] Shortly after Ganassi's announcement, NASCAR also suspended him indefinitely and ordered him to complete sensitivity training before he is allowed to race again.[78] Larson would also be suspended by the World of Outlaws, but had that suspension lifted prior to their return to racing.[79] Multiple corporations such as McDonald's, Credit One Bank, and Chevrolet also terminated their sponsorship of Larson.[80] The following day, CGR fired Larson.[81][82][83] Matt Kenseth took over as Larson's replacement in the No. 42 for the rest of the 2020 season.[84]


In October 2020, after months of inactivity on social media, Larson posted an essay on his website, apologizing for using the slur and denying that it was representative of who he was. In the statement, Larson said that when racing overseas he encountered people who used the word regularly. He accepted accountability for his actions, including his suspension and dismissal from CGR, and said that although he finished the sensitivity training, he did more than what was required of him to change his behavior; for instance, he visited Minnesota days after George Floyd was murdered and participated in a variety of classes to learn more on the African-American community. The statement also said that some of the people in his career, including Ganassi, kept in touch with him during his rehabilitation, which convinced him to have hope in saving his career. Larson also said that he hopes his setback "was a lesson for everyone," and was in the process of seeking reinstatement to the Cup Series.[85] In mid-October 2020, it was reported that Larson officially applied for reinstatement.[86] On October 20 it was announced that NASCAR had reinstated Larson's competition privileges effective January 1, 2021.[87]


Hendrick Motorsports

2021: First championship


Larson's race-winning car during the 2021 Toyota/Save Mart 350

On October 28, 2020, it was announced that Hendrick Motorsports signed Larson to a multi-year deal to drive the No. 5 car starting in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. At the time of the announcement, it was also announced that the No. 5 car was not sponsored yet, though Hendrick announced that he would self-sponsor the car through his HendrickCars.com and NationsGuard companies until they found long-term sponsors.[88] It was also announced later on that, although Hendrick normally did not allow their drivers to race anywhere other than their NASCAR team, the team negotiated a clause in the contract allowing Larson to continue racing dirt races, provided that he focused primarily on the Cup program.[89] In only his fourth start with HMS, Larson won at Las Vegas;[90] he had finished second a NASCAR-record nine times on 1.5-mile tracks prior to the victory.[91][92] At The Coca-Cola 600, Larson dominated the race, leading 327 of 400 laps on his way to his second victory of the season. Larson's victory was the 269th career Cup victory for Hendrick Motorsports, surpassing Petty Enterprises for the most Cup victories as a race team in NASCAR history. The following race in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, Larson won the race dominantly, leading 58 of the 90 laps, his 9th career victory. A week later, Larson also became the 9th driver to win the All-Star Race more than once after starting from the pole, passing Chase Elliott during the final segment, and holding off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski to claim his second million-dollar check. Larson also became the 8th driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win the Coca-Cola 600 and the All-Star race in the same season. Larson earned his 10th career win at Nashville, leading 264 of 300 laps and winning a third consecutive race (All-Star races, as they are not points-paying, are not included). At the Pocono doubleheader the following week later, Larson was on the verge of becoming the 9th driver in the Modern Era (since 1972) to win four consecutive points races as well as his first Cup victories at the track until he blew a tire and hit the wall going into Turn 3 during the final lap of the 1st race, which resulted in teammate Alex Bowman claiming the victory while Larson was able to cross the finish line in 9th place. Despite resorting to a backup car the following day as a result of the incident, Larson rebounded to finish 2nd to Kyle Busch after a fuel gamble.


At Road America, Larson appeared to be in line for a Top 5 finish before being accidentally spun by Bowman, who had lost his brakes. Larson would finish 16th, while Bowman would finish 22nd after being forced to pit due to tire rub. The next week at Atlanta, Larson was running 4th before being penalized for speeding on the final round of pit stops, finishing 18th. He would finish 7th at New Hampshire, the highest placing Chevrolet in the field.


On August 8, 2021, Larson passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead during the final pit cycle at Watkins Glen and once again held off his teammate Chase Elliott to capture his fifth win of the season, a career-high.


After the Watkins Glen race, Larson and Denny Hamlin were tied for the points lead in the Regular Season standings. Larson moved up to 1st in the regular-season standings after Hamlin got spun out by Chase Briscoe at the Indianapolis road course. Following the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona, Larson clinched the Regular Season Championship.[93]


Entering the Round of 16, Larson would lead the most laps at Darlington but finished 2nd to Hamlin. Following a 6th place finish at Richmond, Larson would lead 175 laps and make a pass on Kevin Harvick to win his 6th race of the season at Bristol. His win would somewhat be overshadowed by an altercation between Harvick and Chase Elliott after the race due to an on-track incident.


In the Round of 12, Larson finished 10th at Las Vegas and 37th at Talladega. At the Charlotte Roval race, Larson overcame early technical issues to pass Hamlin for the lead with eight laps to go and would go on and win his 7th race of the season. Larson's victory at the Charlotte Roval and earlier victories at Sonoma and Watkins Glen made him the first driver in NASCAR Cup history to win three different road courses in the same season. Larson also became the first driver since Kasey Kahne in 2006 to sweep both Charlotte races.


In the Round of 8, Larson won in dominating fashion in the 2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 8th win of the season to secure a spot in the Championship 4 for the first time. The following week, Larson earned his 9th win of the season in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Larson became the first Cup driver since Dale Earnhardt in 1987 to have two instances of winning three straight races.


In the 2021 Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway, Larson earned his tenth win of the season and became the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion over Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott. Larson became the first driver to have 10 wins and a championship in the same season since Jimmie Johnson did it during the 2007 season. Larson ended the 2021 season with 10 wins, 18 stage wins, 20 top fives, 26 top tens, 2,581 laps led, and an average finish of 9.08.


Dirt track racing

Larson owned a World of Outlaws sprint car team, Kyle Larson Racing, that fielded a car for Carson Macedo; he acquired full ownership of the team, formerly named Larson Marks Racing, after the 2017 season.[94] The team closed following the 2020 racing season, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.[95] He drives for his own team (midgets) and Paul Silva (winged sprint car) on a limited schedule.[96]


On January 18, 2020, Larson won his first Chili Bowl, a crown jewel of dirt track racing.[97] After his suspension and subsequent reinstatement to the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Larson raced in the series beginning in the spring.[79] His first race was on May 8 at Knoxville Raceway, where he started 18th and finished 10th.[98] Two weeks later at Federated Auto Parts Raceway, Larson set a qualifying lap time of 9.995 seconds, the first sub-ten-second time in track history.[99] After finishing second to brother-in-law Brad Sweet in the Friday feature, he held off Brent Marks and Sweet in the Saturday event to score his first World of Outlaws victory since his NASCAR suspension.[100] Larson joined the USAC series for the 2020 Indiana Midget Week in June. He went on to take first place in all six events in the Hoosier state, winning the title. Larson continued to win in nine straight sprint car features. Larson competed for the full Pennsylvania Speedweek for 410 Sprint cars.[101] He won the event at Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night after passing Freddie Rahmer with 2 laps remaining.[102] Larson picked up his second win of the week on Thursday after leading the entire race at Hagerstown.[103] On Friday, Larson won the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway;[104] it was his first win ever at Williams Grove, and his 17th win of the 2020 season to that point.[105] The following night, he won again at the final event at Port Royal.[106] Larson won the PA Speedweek title with four wins and three podiums.[106]


Larson also competed in the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars in 2020, and set a series record at Knoxville Raceway on August 1 when he won his seventh consecutive race.[107] On October 18, he won the USAC Silver Crown Series finale at the Springfield Mile to take his 42nd feature win of the season.[108] Following the 2020 season Larson was named 410 Sprint Car Driver of the Year.[109]


In August 2020, following a test at Cherokee Speedway,[110] Larson announced he would be making his debut in a dirt late model at Port Royal Speedway, driving in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for owner Kevin Rumley.[111] After finishing fifth in the first night of the event, Larson led flag-to-flag in the second night's race to win in his second-ever dirt late model start.[112] Later in the year he competed in the Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth Raceway Park, finishing 30th.[113] He also made his debut in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series,[114] running the series' final two races of the season at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, setting a new track record in qualifying and posting a best finish of eighth.[115]


Following his reinstatement by NASCAR and signing with Hendrick Motorsports in October 2020, Larson noted in an interview with The Dale Jr. Download that he would be permitted to continue dirt racing in addition to the Cup Series provided the latter be his primary commitment.[116]


On January 16, 2021, Larson won his second consecutive Chili Bowl Nationals over Justin Grant and Tanner Thorson.[117] He then competed in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series' Winternationals for dirt late models,[118] winning the series' season-opening event at All-Tech Raceway.[119] Larson won the third annual BC39 race against 74 USAC National Midgets at the dirt track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 19, 2021.[120] On August 14, 2021 Larson won the Knoxville Nationals for the first time in his career.[121]


Other racing

On January 4, 2014, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Larson would enter the 24 Hours of Daytona, driving the No. 02 car alongside Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Marino Franchitti.[122] During the press conference, Larson stated, "You grow up watching the NASCAR guys then you're like, ‘wow’ when you meet them. And then watching the guys in different series there's a 'wow' factor to meeting them and working with them."[123] In his Rolex 24 debut, Larson's car stalled and received a speeding penalty, but finished his stint with a fifth-place finish.[124]


Larson returned to the No. 02 Ford Daytona Prototype for the 2015 event, along with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates from IndyCar Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan and NASCAR Jamie McMurray. The team ultimately won the race.[125][126]


In 2016, Larson once again returned for the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Ford EcoBoost Daytona Prototype for Chip Ganassi Racing. The team consisted of the same drivers from the 2015 winning car but ran into issues with brake failures plaguing the team throughout the race.[127]


In popular media

Larson made a cameo appearance as a limo driver in the 2017 film Logan Lucky.[128]


Personal life


Larson and his son Owen in 2015

Larson's mother is Japanese American and her parents spent time in a Japanese internment camp.[129] Larson's wife is Katelyn Sweet, the sister of World Of Outlaw sprint driver and NASCAR driver Brad Sweet.[130] Larson announced on June 13, 2014 that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child.[131] On July 16, 2014, Larson announced that the baby was a boy.[132] Owen Miyata Larson was born in 2014.[133] On November 8, 2017, Larson announced on social media that he and Katelyn were expecting a second child, due in May 2018.[134] Audrey Layne Larson was born in 2018. On December 22, 2017, Larson and Sweet became engaged[135] and they were married on September 26, 2018.[136] (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Kyle Larson

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion

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