By Lisa DeSpain
As a NASCAR fan, do yourself a favor and remember Kyle Larson’s name. You’ll be hearing it a lot in the future. He is one really impressive young driver. In only two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, he has achieved two top-ten finishes. After changing an engine in his first race at Kentucky Speedway, he had to start from the back, and still managed a 10th place finish. Last night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he battled a truck he called “a handful towards the end”, at times running sideways, to finish 6th in the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet. He was modestly pleased that he had improved his finish, and hopes to keep moving up. Wow, that’s a true racer! Always trying to think of ways to improve and move ahead.
At only 20 years old, he is a seasoned racer, poised and mature beyond his years. He started his racing career at the age of 7 in karts, moving up to USAC and World of Outlaws. Kyle currently drives for Rev Racing, which is a part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, in the NASCAR K & N Pro Series East, as well as driving in the NCWTS. He has caught Tony Stewart’s attention, and Kyle is really excited that Tony is pretty high on him at the moment, calling him a driver to watch. He is reminiscent of Tony, in that he can pretty much drive the wheels off of anything, racing is all he’s ever wanted to do, and he is a consummate dirt racer.
The shift from Sprint cars to Stock cars has not been as hard for Kyle as it has been for other rookies. Getting used to radial tires, side force, and down force on the trucks has taken some doing, but he loves the track in Atlanta as it is slick like dirt, and allows for the occasional slide job on a fellow competitor.
When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, Kyle says “race”, but if pressed, he admits to getting in a little fishing when he can and, like any young guy his age, loves video games…racing ones, of course. Other than hanging with his Pekinese dog, Stagger (he wanted a racing name), all he does is race. In fact, you can catch him Monday at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina in the NASCAR K & N Pro Series East race there. Just another day at the office. Seriously, keep an eye on this guy. Any real race fan will truly like what they see.
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