NASCAR Fans Sarcastically Mourn the Loss of Kyle Larson as Talladega Takes a Hilarious Dig at Taylor Swift’s ‘Leaked’ Album

Published 04/18/2024, 11:16 PM EDT

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Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated studio album will soon be on Spotify playlists worldwide, but a potential leak online has only increased the buzz surrounding “The Tortured Poets Department”. Closer to home, on the high banks of Talladega, Kyle Larson is also set to make another bid to claim an inaugural victory in his eleventh Cup Series season, heading to the Alabama draft track.

Many will know that for over a decade, superspeedways have often emerged as Larson’s Achilles heel in his extensive Cup Series career. In 38 prior starts, Hendrick Motorsports’ #5 driver has finished in the top 5 only once on tracks 2.5 miles and above. A year removed from his stellar championship run in 2021, the driver crossed ‘Dega’s finish line in a somewhat surprising P4 position.

In April 2023, however, Kyle Larson made headlines at treacherous Talladega after a last-lap incident left fans praying for his safety in reality. While battling for position, contact from Kyle Busch sent Larson’s Camaro ZL1 careening down the banking before bouncing back up, ultimately collecting a glancing blow from Ryan Preece’s #41 Ford.


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The wreck left Larson’s car with some serious damage. Notably, a door bar from the passenger side became dislodged and intruded into the cockpit, a sight that sent shivers down the spines of fans watching. Thankfully, Larson emerged from the wreckage unharmed, and so did the others involved. Strangely enough, last week at Texas turned out to look somewhat similar again, during the final laps.

However, Talladega’s social media has raised an ironically solemn storm for the #5 driver, referencing the one brewing around Swift’s 11th LP. And the fans, as always, do not disappoint.

Swifties apology accepted by Kyle Larson

Back in 2012, ‘Yung Money’ had some winds to stir for himself with a controversial tweet that read, “Taylor Swift is a has-been.” This comment outraged many fans back in the day. Now, surprisingly, Denny Hamlin has been added to the list. Larson later went on to explain how it was “a long, long time ago.” Just for his pure racing talents and accolades, the #5 driver credits more than just an “apology accepted” from “Swifties” across the globe.

However, for now, NASCAR fans are waiting for the GEICO 500 to enrich screens worldwide, with another fabulous outing at the NASCAR season’s longest superspeedway. The Instagram page of Talladega, on the other hand, has bridged these two very different worlds with a commendable promotional post. As an assumable parody, the picture tagging NASCAR and Kyle Larson’s official handles seems to be paying tribute to Swift’s album, which is set to release on April 19th, right before the ‘Dega weekend’.


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“Talladega SMM is a Swiftie 💘🫶” wrote Instagram user @goodbetterbecks rightfully observing the attempted connect. But the allegedly “misleading” promo had most diehards hilariously point out, “I legit thought Kyle died or something…y’all have to fix your graphics.” One fan comedically replied, “RIP Kyle Larson 🙏🏽 not gone but not forgotten,” while another was understandably confused, “I thought this was some kind of funeral service post.”

Furthermore, with each entity catering to incredibly contrasting audiences,  this comment explains the collectively perceived fan sentiment in a perfect manner: “1. It looks like he died 2. Tf is this post even about LMAO I don’t get it.”  As @anna9_241 candidly writes, “The majority of this group are not Swifties @talladega,” but it was indeed an admirable attempt. Hence, a good reach! NASCAR should seriously consider giving “whoever came up with this a raise” to maintain the relatable fan interactions that the sanctioning body has become known for through the decades.


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However, considering Kyle Larson’s terrifying fate at last year’s Talladega 500, some may even find the post distasteful, and as one harrowing comment inquisitively reflects, “Is this just predicting Kyle Larson’s inevitable 28th-place finish after getting caught up in a crash?” one more time?

Nevertheless, with 3 out of 4 Hendrick drivers represented well in the 2024 wins column, will it be Kyle Larson who pulls off an upset at Talladega on Sunday?


Written by:

Amman Augustin


One take at a time

Amman Augustin is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With his coverage majorly focusing on the lavish off-track lives of drivers, Amman often brings the lesser-known side of Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick to their fans. Another aspect of NASCAR where he flourishes is covering rivalries between competitors.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta