Kyle Larson Set His Sights on Kansas NASCAR Cup Win Ever Since Las Vegas Victory: “I’ve Had Kansas Circled”

Published 04/30/2021, 9:20 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


Kyle Larson has had some misfortune over the last couple of races, which he will look to get rid of on Sunday at the Kansas Speedway. He certainly has the best chance to do so, being the best driver so far this year on 1.5-mile tracks.

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He has led 377 laps so far this season on those tracks, with 103 of those coming at Las Vegas, where he won his first NASCAR Cup Series race with Hendrick Motorsports, back in early March.

Then, he dominated at Atlanta but just fell short in the last few laps and had to settle for second place behind Ryan Blaney.

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Larson’s speed on 1.5-mile tracks has been stunning, and Kansas presents another great opportunity for Larson to further stamp his authority. Additionally, Larson wants to emulate his performance in the Vegas race at Kansas, which he thinks is most similar to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Mar 21, 2021; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) leads down the front stretch at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Larson draws parallels with Las Vegas ahead of the Kansas race

“(I’m) definitely excited to get back to Kansas; it’s a place I feel like that is most similar to Las Vegas in grip level and banking,” Larson said during an interview. He has had his eyes on a win at Kansas ever since he visited Victory Lane at Las Vegas.

“We had a really fast car at Las Vegas and got the win, so I’ve had Kansas circled since we left Las Vegas,” the 28-year-old expressed.

The only worrying factor for Larson would be the fact that his competitors have raced at Kansas more recently than him. Larson missed both Kansas Cup races in 2020 due to his absence and will hope to get a good feel of the track right away.

No practice and qualifying means he will have to find his feet quickly during the race. However, Larson has a plan in place and hopes to get some valuable inputs from his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and William Byron.

Elliott is the most recent Hendrick winner at Kansas, with his 2018 victory.

How Larson is relying on Chase Elliott and fellow Hendrick teammates for inputs

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I didn’t get to race (at Kansas) last year so I’ll see how things are different compared to what I remember. (I’ll) really look at my teammates and how their data looks, how their driving styles look, and just take in as much information as I can to be ready for the race,” Larson said further.

Throughout his Cup career so far, Larson has five top-10s, including three top-5s at Kansas Speedway. He has also led 164 laps there in his Chip Ganassi Racing car and will look to gather more laps led in a single race on Sunday in his Hendrick Chevy.

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Larson is already looking like one of the top competitors, come the playoffs.

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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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