Kyle Larson Feels ‘No Practice Sessions’ in NASCAR Benefits Him After Another Strong Run in Darlington Throwback Race

Published 05/10/2021, 8:10 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington on Sunday seemed comfortably in Martin Truex Jr.’s grasp, due to his massive lead. However, when no one expected it, Kyle Larson made up an impressive amount of ground to really give Truex a run for his money.

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That is a testament to Larson’s incredible start to the season, his first in a Hendrick Motorsports car. He was even sent to the rear midway through Sunday’s race due to a pit-road penalty, but he found his way to the front again in no time.

He eventually finished second at Darlington and is a contender for wins quite often. After missing almost all of last season, Larson has already adapted quite well to the no practice and no qualifying reality of NASCAR racing these days.

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May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) passes Kyle Busch (18) during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, he believes having no practice and just turning up on the race track is actually better for him.

Kyle Larson explains why having no practice is good for him

“I feel like I’m putting in a lot of work off the track, too, to get myself up to speed with no practice and things like that,” Larson said, looking back at his first 12 races this season.

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“Honestly, probably no practice benefits me a little bit. Just from being able to adapt quickly and not giving myself an opportunity to tune ourselves out with any bad feedback,” the Hendrick No. 5 explained.

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) celebrates his victory in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Different drivers have expressed different viewpoints on the ‘no practice’ situation. While it seemed like a difficult idea to pull off when it began, many drivers have been comfortable just going out on the race track and figuring it out on race day.

Larson’s aim to go from ‘one of the best’ to ‘the best’

Meanwhile, Larson feels quite motivated while working with the Hendrick Motorsports camp. he is very impressed to see how his No. 5 team crew prepares week in and week out, giving him the chance to be strong on the race track.

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The 28-year-old is enjoying himself this season. While he has been one of the best, he wants to be ‘the best’ through the final stretch of the season as the competition will get a lot more difficult.

“It’s been really fun to be this good this early on in the year. And like I said earlier, I hope we can just continue to build on it and get better and be the best when it comes to the final 10 races,” Larson said further.

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Larson said last weekend that he rues the missed opportunities to win, and he could have had four or five wins already in 2021. That is one area he will aim to get better at as the season progresses.

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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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