Can Kyle Larson Beat the Odds to Join Truex and Busch as Double Season Winners?

Published 08/29/2021, 12:31 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) try to help keep him in the lead during a pit stop during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports


Following the Coke Zero Sugar 400, Kyle Larson clinched the 2021 Cup Series regular season title. Even though he was caught up in some in-race chaos, he still managed to win the title. Once he snatched his fifth win of the season at Watkins Glen International, there was no stopping him.

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Aside from those five wins, Larson boasts of 14 top fives and 18 top 10 finishes. Additionally, in his maiden season with Hendrick Motorsports, he reached Victory Lane at Las Vegas, Charlotte, Sonoma and Nashville. As an added bonus, he seized victory at the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. This was enough to earn him an extension to remain at Hendrick Motorsports through the 2023 season.

“We had a stretch there where we won like every stage and every race for a few weeks in a row,” Larson said.

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“I think we took huge chunks out then. I think I read somewhere where we overcame I think a 166-point gap to Denny (Hamlin). I didn’t think it was possible, but our team has worked so hard all of the regular season. I couldn’t do it without Mr. Hendrick and Linda and all of their support. Everybody back at the shop, too. This is a long season and we still have 10 races to go.”

Kyle Larson will now focus on the playoff battle

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With the regular-season title in the bag, Larson has a 15-point bonus under his belt. For now, he knows that the real battle begins on September 5 at the Darlington Raceway. It is also worth mentioning that the 29-year-old clinched 12 stage wins this season, earning him 52 playoff points.

Jun 20, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) passes the start finish line during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the pressure is on him to see whether he can win the playoff as well. Truthfully speaking, only Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr have managed to achieve that feat. Truex Jr did it in 2017, while teammate Busch clinched both in 2019, so Larson will be eager to join their ranks.

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The Asian-American driver is confident, because he knows that there are tracks where he and the team did well. For now, Larson is simply looking forward to next weekend when the playoffs commence.

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Dhruv George

11989 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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