“RIP”- Kyle Larson Pays His Respects as the NASCAR World Loses Great Artistic Talent

Published 02/11/2024, 1:08 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The new year isn’t off to a great start for the NASCAR community. What was supposed to be a terrific year for racing fans and drivers alike is quickly turning into what can be described as a nightmare for them. The year started with a bad omen, so to speak, with the passing of Cale Yarborough. In the following days, Mike Wallace lost his better half to cancer. And then, the music world lost a maestro with the sad demise of Toby Keith. Now, there’s another tragic story that has left Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson in pieces.

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On February 9, famous helmet artist and owner of Indocil Art, Ryan Young, passed away. The artist, who was “an MTV kid” and renowned for his iconic helmet designs, died at the age of 50. Expressing his grief, Larson put out a brief yet touching statement, extending his condolences while sharing his good times with Young.

Kyle Larson bids one last goodbye to his helmet buddy

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Ryan Young, who shot to fame after designing a rock and roll-inspired MTV helmet for Lizzy Musi, was also a well-known name in the NASCAR scene. While he worked in association with multiple drivers, he was Larson’s go-to helmet guy. The very talented designer created some of Larson’s most iconic headgear, including the HendrickCars.com piece for Phoenix.

Mourning the loss of his friend, Kyle Larson took to Instagram and wrote, “Hated getting the news of @indocil Ryan Young passing away yesterday morning. Such an extremely passionate and talented artist that I’m going to greatly miss.” While drivers may not have much creative control over most parts of their racing gear, helmet designs are one thing that helps them showcase their identity and personality. For Larson, there was no one better than Young to design just what the driver wanted.

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“I’m not sure people realize how involved I like to be on the design process of my helmets. I always loved talking to him and working through fun ideas for designs.”

We would both come up with off-the-wall thoughts and probably confuse each other most times, but he ALWAYS knocked it out of the park and supplied me with the sickest helmets in the pits. Just a great guy and will be missed by so many! RIP,” the HMS sensation further added. With this touching tribute, Larson posted a picture of Ryan Young and a few of the many helmets the artist designed for him.

It was just 17 weeks ago that Ryan Young celebrated his 50th birthday. To thank everyone, he took to Indocil Art’s official Instagram account and wrote, “50 freaking Years!.. My customers and friends are absolutely the best.. here’s to the past 50 and to everything that comes next. Always pushing myself to be the best business owner, friend, artist, car enthusiast, fabricator, dad, son, brother, and boyfriend I can possibly be. Yours truly, Ryan Young.”

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After hearing the news of Young’s passing, several names in the NASCAR community joined Kyle Larson to bid adieu to the artist who’s gone but won’t ever be forgotten.

As Ryan Young “will be missed,” a veteran Cup driver sent prayers to his family

The statement from the Hendrick Motorsports driver tells us how much Young meant to him. However, in NASCAR, Larson wasn’t the only pilot getting his lids designed by the owner of Indocil Art.

Front Row Motorsports ace driver Michael McDowell was also stunned to hear the sad news. In his X post, McDowell wrote, “Ryan Young has been a friend and my helmet painter for over a decade. Very saddened by his passing. Praying for all of his family and friends.

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Christopher Wheeler, strategist at Chip Ganassi Racing, also tweeted, Godspeed to the mayor of Rock Hill. Ryan Young was unique in lots of ways, but you always knew where you stood with him. His passion is seen in everything he touched over the years growing Indocil Art, and he will be missed.”

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While the cause of his sudden demise is still unknown, Ryan Young’s passing has left a void that certainly cannot be filled anytime soon. There’s no doubt his legacy will live on through the myriad of iconic helmets he created over the years. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

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Written by:

Kishore R

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Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He actively covers live events and does detailed race analyses, helping fans understand the very nitty gritties of the sport. Using the right mix of storytelling and game expertise, Kishore can take his readers on a journey to see how a particular race was for some of their most loved drivers, like Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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