Kyle Larson wasn’t racing a year ago due to suspension, but capped a magical comeback season with his 10th win of the year in the Phoenix final which won his first NASCAR Cup championship.
The 29-year-old was suspended from NASCAR and fired by Chip Ganassi Racing last April for using a racial slur at a public iRacing event. He missed the rest of the 2020 season, with a return to NASCAR never a certainty.
MORE: How Larson came the long way to NASCAR Cup glory
After fulfilling the conditions to lift his suspension, Hendrick Motorsports added Larson to his four-driver squad for the 2021 Cup and he took the opportunity to produce the most dominant Cup season since 2007.
Extracurricular activities that highlight Larson’s star credentials
Kyle Larson not only made a stunning return to NASCAR by winning his first Cup Series title in 2021, but he also capped an extraordinary season of racing success in several disciplines of motorsport in the United States.
In addition to the top 10 career wins (plus one All-Star race win) that Larson racked up in the Cup on multiple track types in his first season at Hendrick Motorsports, he has engaged in after-school racing throughout. year round thanks to team owner Rick Hendrick who gave in to a previous policy of his Cup Series drivers focusing only on this discipline.
NASCAR’s return to dirt racing in 2021 made Larson feel at home, given his gap in short track dirt racing.
Photo By: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
“I never thought I would race for Hendrick Motorsports as I could do just one clay race in a year, let alone as many as I have this year,” said Larson, who has been successful twice. to win three Cup races in a row, and tied Tony. Stewart’s 2011 record by winning five playoff races.
Larson won the 2021 Chili Bowl Nationals, America’s most prestigious miniature car race; won the Knoxville Nationals and Kings Royal races – two elite sprint events; and also claimed victory in the inaugural Prairie Dirt Classic Late Model event. In total, he collected 29 victories in 87 race starts.
âI’m just a very lucky guy who can race in the best race cars of any series I can race in,â said Larson. âI’m in the best seat in the Cup Series. I’m in the best seat in a sprint car. I am in the best seat in a late model. I’m in the best seat in a midget, whether it’s with Chad Boat or my old car.
He even threw his hat in the ring for some practice in the Formula 1 post-season Abu Dhabi rookie test. Now that would have been somethingâ¦