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Seeing Kyle Larson’s Son Fiddle With the #5 Car, Fans Accuse Rick Hendrick and Co. of Possible Foul Play

Published 03/04/2024, 12:02 AM EST

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Kyle Larson just clinched another win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, keeping Chevy’s winning streak alive while scoring another one for Hendrick Motorsports early in the season. Right after the race, Larson’s nine-year-old son, Owen, was seen at the track, snagging the checkered flag to celebrate with his dad. But, amid all the excitement, Owen might’ve accidentally messed with the #5 car in a way that could affect its post-race inspection. And fans? They’re buzzing with opinions on this.

Immediately after Larson’s win, Owen ran across the race track and leaped onto the window on the driver’s side of his father’s Chevrolet. They even took a victory lap together, with Owen and his sister riding in the #5 car, sharing a sweet family moment. 

Kyle Larson’s son could jeopardize his post-race inspection procedure

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Kyle Larson’s victory lap at Las Vegas got a bit more interesting, thanks to his son, Owen Larson, who joined the celebration. Owen hopped on the roof of the car and pumped up the crowd to cheer for his father. Owen, in his excitement, tugged on the car’s rear spoiler and even popped out the side window. While it all seems like typical kid stuff, these antics could spell trouble for Larson’s post-race inspection.

Turns out, those few moments of fun might lead to a big headache for Larson if his car doesn’t pass NASCAR’s strict post-race check-up. NASCAR has a keen eye on things like the rear wing’s height and other specifications to make sure everything’s up to snuff. However, NASCAR understands that a race can be rough on a car, and sometimes that means it might not meet the usual specs by the end of the race.

Hence, they’ve got a bit of wiggle room for things like the rear wing and front splitter’s height. But if Larson’s car is out of bounds, even by a little, it could mean trouble. They check how high these parts are off the ground, and if they’re not within the set range, Larson could face a penalty, or worse, he may even have to forfeit his victory.

The win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was Larson’s first of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season and his third at this venue. He dominated the race for the most part, sweeping all stages and leading 181 of the 267 laps. This win also likely confirms his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. But could his win be taken away from him?

So, now and then, NASCAR picks a few engines to check out on a dynamometer, just to make sure everything’s up to code. They’re pretty strict about the rules, and if a team steps out of line, the penalties can be tough. Teams have even lost their victories over this. Now, Owen messing around with the #5 car could mean trouble for his father.

But the fans reckon since the kid wasn’t up to any mischief on purpose, Larson might dodge any serious fallout. Yet, some people are stirring the pot, pointing fingers at Chad Knaus and Rick Hendrick, accusing them of pulling a fast one by letting Larson’s child tinker with the car amid the victory celebration.

“Taught him well” Fans point fingers at #5’s crew chief and the big boss 

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Kevin McAdams dropped the bomb on social media about Larson’s car, possibly getting a sneaky tune-up. Fans didn’t waste any time crying foul, suggesting Larson’s son, Owen, messing with the car wasn’t just child’s play but a sneaky strategy.

Some went straight for Larson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, with comments like “Looks like Chad taught him a thing or two” and “Bet Chad’s grinning like a Cheshire cat right now.” Others threw shade at the whole Hendrick Motorsports team and Rick Hendrick, tossing out lines like “HMS knows what they’re doing” and “Hendrick taught him well I see.”

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The chorus grew with more chiming in, labeling HMS as the master of mischief with zingers like, “Oh I see making the kid do the work so they don’t penalize #StopCheatingHendrick.” One fan laid it out plain and simple, “Owen is the 🐐 The crowd sees a loving father and family man Rick Hendrick sees inspection getting passed.”

But what could be the real scoop? Was this a calculated move, or are fans making a mountain out of a molehill?

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath