As Kyle Larson makes his return to drive in the midst of NASCAR’s best in the Cup Series, he is already being considered as one of the top contenders.
It will be difficult for Larson to find his feet right away, but driving for Hendrick Motorsports is certainly a factor that will boost his chances.
When it comes to Larson’s chances of making a championship run, NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes Larson will surely be a title contender in the Cup Series.
But can that happen right away? Earnhardt Jr. believes Larson should “never say never”, but he should also take things one step at a time.
“Never say never. But I think that Kyle just needs to go out there and get re-acclimated to the sport,” the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee said during an interview.
He believes that NASCAR is a sport that can set a behind driver in no time. It does not matter whether the driver is out for a short while, or for almost 10 months, as Larson would be before the season kicks off in February.
“If you take a break, whether it’s a couple of weeks if a driver gets an injury, or whatever it may be. You really get behind quickly in this sport,” Earnhardt Jr. expressed.
The 46-year-old is confident that Larson will have some good runs and success this year. At the same time, he stressed that the future driver of the No. 5 car should focus on getting used to the demands of the sport again.
Earnhardt Jr. wants Larson to get acclimatized to the environment. Once he finds some momentum again, Larson can soon challenge for the championship.
“I think it’s just going to be important for him to re-acclimate himself with being a part of the sport. Getting back into that routine of racing every single week.
“Just find some stability and consistency. Try to create a new foundation to build on. To one day, maybe, become a champion,” Earnhardt Jr. said.
The former Hendrick Motorsports driver lauded Larson’s skills. “He’s a very talented driver and has a lot of opportunities to win and succeed. A championship is certainly attainable for him,” Earnhardt Jr. expressed.
But for now, Earnhardt Jr. hopes that Larson does not pay much attention to anything outside his team.
“I just think he needs to get out there and just try to build his team. And try to get some consistency and performance in the car each week,” Earnhardt Jr. concluded as saying.
Larson has big shoes to fill at Hendrick Motorsports. While not directly, Larson still replaces Jimmie Johnson as one of the 4 drivers at the leading NASCAR outfit.