Hendrick Motorsports Owner Relaxes Driver Policies Against Extracurricular Activities

Published 07/17/2021, 2:12 PM EDT
Jun 13, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) and driver Kyle Busch (18) drive side by side during the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Extracurricular activities come with a lot of fun for racecar drivers, but they also come with a lot of risk. They always carry the threat of injuries, which is understandably a big concern for team owners. And this is precisely why Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick is not fond of extracurriculars. This is why he has mostly been hesitant to allow his wards to do any adrenaline-fuelled activity or a non-NASCAR race.

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Luckily for Kyle Larson, though, he has decided to be a little more lenient. This is because the #5 driver is a massive dirt racing aficionado. It was all the more tricky for Larson, as he has chalked up the most wins for the outfit. This puts him right in the thick of the championship battle with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

“I’ve changed my mind on the whole process,” Hendrick said. “I think driving big horsepower cars out of control has helped him a tremendous amount in the Cup racing. His car control is steel. So, you’ve got to be willing to change. I guess these guys have worked me over enough. I’ve done it.”

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Hendrick Motorsports will hope that Kyle Larson stays out of trouble

It is worth noting that even though Rick Hendrick green-lit everything, Larson promised to be careful. This is all the more important because the NASCAR Playoffs are just around the corner. Furthermore, Hendrick Motorsports’ leniency also extends to the other drivers, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and William Byron.

Jun 6, 2021; Sonoma, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) smiles after winning the Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Although there is the safety factor, there is another side to the argument. To be precise, racing in different series makes a driver more versatile and helps hone their craft. Thus, when Kyle Larson signed a contract extension, Hendrick Motorsports promised to back him even in his non-NASCAR racing travails.

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“I want to say I don’t encourage it,” Hendrick said. “But I’m all for it if it’s something they want to do and they feel really motivated to do it.”

This is Larson’s first full-time season with Hendrick Motorsports, and he is performing wonders. The driver has already notched up four regular-season wins, with 15 races remaining in 2021. And to make things sweeter, he also grabbed an additional exhibition victory from the All-Star Race.

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DIVE DEEPER

Kyle Larson to Stay at Hendrick Motorsports Until at Least 2023

12 days ago

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Dhruv George

11740 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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