Kyle Larson Rubbishes Talk of 2021 Being a ‘Redemption’ Story for Him

Published 09/27/2021, 3:09 AM EDT
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


For the next few weeks, Kyle Larson has his job cut out for him on the road to a potential maiden Cup Series title. On four previous occasions, he has come close to challenging, but this is possibly his best shot. This is largely because he currently boasts of six victories in a season, his highest till date.

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Admittedly, some would think that his rip-roaring performances are part of his penance for his actions in 2020. After a mistake that would cost him the chance of competing in the 2020 season, he is back in action. Considering his frequent visits to Victory Lane, people can be forgiven for believing that this is a comeback story worthy of a Hollywood adaptation. However, Kyle Larson does not view it in that manner.

“I don’t really have an opinion of people using it, but I don’t view what I’m doing now as redemption at all,” Larson told FOX Sports. “I just want to show people that I am a great race-car driver, but I’m also a great person and I’m not who some people think I was from that one night.”

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What changed for Kyle Larson?

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It is worth mentioning that the pandemic halted proceedings for a long time. When some semblance of normalcy was restored, Larson was left high and dry due to his own carelessness. Not one to sit idle, he elected to ply his trade in different areas, like sprint cars, dirt late models and more. From there, he built up his reputation as a ‘Jack of All Trades.’

May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) talks with team owner Rick Hendrick on his winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Once he became eligible to return to NASCAR, people were still hesitant to associate with him. That lasted until Rick Hendrick threw his hat in the ring and outbid Stewart-Haas Racing. The latter seemed like a good fit, considering Tony Stewart’s sprint-car racing exploits.

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Ever the shrewd businessman, Hendrick sponsored Larson for select races. As Larson raked in the results, the depleted fanbase began to grow once again. In response, Hendrick Motorsports elected to sign Larson through 2023. Now, he heads to the scene of his first-ever Hendrick win, aiming for a repeat.

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Dhruv George

12121 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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