“Huge Relief”- Kyle Larson Explains Why Maiden Win at Michigan Remains Very Special to Him

Published 12/29/2020, 9:57 AM EST
RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 09: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Kyle Larson is now back with a chance to add to his 6 NASCAR Cup Series wins. He is certainly expected to do that sooner than later in the 2021 season, driving for Hendrick Motorsports in the no. 5 car.

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In the meantime, he has those 6 wins to look back on and gain further motivation from as he dives into the new season. One of those wins that came at the Michigan International Speedway is very important to Larson.

Of course, the win held higher importance as it was his first NASCAR Cup win. What made it more special was that Larson finally broke the jinx of coming close but not winning.

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Kyle Larson explains why the Michigan win is so memorable

First Cup win. Just because I had been so close for three years, or whatever it was. I don’t know how many second places I had, 10 or 11 maybe. To get that win was a big relief,” Larson had expressed during an interview.

DOVER, DELAWARE – OCTOBER 06: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Clover Chevrolet, celebrates winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 06, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Before that win in 2016, Larson came close on many occasions, but his progress was hindered by either a late caution or getting beaten on a restart. At times, he would lose spots off pit-road and fall behind.

But on that day in Michigan, Larson kept his cool and fortune favored him as well once he got into the lead late in the race.

I remember I did a good job side-drafting and got to lead. It was weird. I felt like, ‘Okay, there’s not going to be a caution. I’m going to win this with like three to go’,” Larson said further about the day.

The emotions of winning a maiden Cup race

He then expressed that emotions were running wild as he had won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race. He was not confident of reaching the Playoffs that year, but that win sealed his place in the postseason.

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 16: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cars 3/Target Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the pole award for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

“The final three laps, I’m like a softie, just choking up. That was just a huge relief and I remember screaming in the car. And I was just so excited. I did my interview and was about to pass out,” Larson added.

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“It got me in the playoffs. That win was huge,” he expressed.

While that win will always be special for Kyle Larson, he will now focus on a fresh start with the #5 car at Hendrick. There are high expectations of him to perform well consistently. It will be interesting to see how he deals with the pressure.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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