WATCH: Jeff Gordon & Kyle Larson Share a Wholesome Moment Joking About NASCAR Records

Published 11/14/2021, 1:01 AM CST
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 05: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports talk on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 05, 2021 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


When Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in Phoenix, he put the perfect end to an almost perfect season. The Hendrick Motorsports driver ended up winning the NASCAR Cup Series title in a season in which he broke a few records along the way.

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One of them being Jeff Gordon’s.

He broke Gordon’s twenty-year-old record of most laps led in a season. While Gordon led 2,320 laps in 2001, Larson surpassed him by registering 2,581 laps led in 2021. And yes, when a record that old is broken, it hurts – even if you’re Jeff Gordon.

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In the post-race presentations, Gordon embraced Larson and joked about the young driver getting ahead of him.

You didn’t have to break my record,” he said.

I know you’re gonna break a lot of those m*********g records, but I’m okay with it.” 

Of course, it was mostly in banter.

Gordon and Larson both know that the 29-year-old has a long way to go if he wants to even come close to Gordon’s legacy. But at the same time, Gordon cheekily complimented on the talent of Kyle Larson.

As long as I’m not racing against you, I’m okay with it.”

Nov 7, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) celebrates winning the Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Other records broken by Kyle Larson in 2021

Along with toppling the record which stood since 2001, Larson equaled a record no other driver had come close to since 2007.

With his win in Phoenix, the Hendrick driver’s total race wins reached double figures, 10, which equaled Jimmie Johnson’s record for most wins in a season that he achieved in 2007.

He also tied Tony Stewart’s 2011 record for most wins in a playoff season, winning five out of 10 races.

Larson’s win at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier in 2021 meant Rick Hendrick’s team became the most successful team in NASCAR Cup history, with a record-setting 269th win, the number which moved up to 280 by the end of the season.

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After the race in Phoenix, Jeff Gordon walked up to and congratulated Kyle Larson, who was still in his No.5 car.

“You ready for tonight?” Larson asked Gordon, who replied in affirmative.

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And Gordon said so knowing that Kyle Larson is not just ready himself for the celebrations, but more than ready to follow in his footsteps as a NASCAR legend.

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Shaharyar

233 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A Graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for the better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in the future.

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