When Kyle Larson Fainted Before a Cup Race at Martinsville

Published 01/04/2022, 12:51 AM EST
DAYTONA, FL – FEBRUARY 15: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro, during final practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Professional sports can be a grueling business and motorsport is no different. In the case of most motorsports, including NASCAR, the drivers are at risk of near-fatal accidents. On other rare occasions, drivers take ill or are physically unable to race. Back in 2015, such a fate befell poor old Kyle Larson ahead of the Cup race at Martinsville.

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According to reports, while he was signing autographs, the then Chip Ganassi Racing driver fainted. Naturally, he was rushed to Martinsville Memorial Hospital for a checkup. The good news was that the doctors cleared him, but they advised him to consult a neurologist. However, the bad news was that he was ruled out for the race on that day.

What happened to Kyle Larson on that occasion?

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Unfortunately for the #42 driver and Chip Ganassi Racing, there were no neurologists available. As a result, he was transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for evaluation. Prior to the fainting episode, the then 22-year-old was scheduled to start seventh in the STP 500. In the end, he was forced to pull out of the race and focus on recovery.

DOVER, DELAWARE – OCTOBER 06: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Clover Chevrolet, celebrates winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

With Larson out of action, the CGR team roped in Regan Smith. Team owner Chip Ganassi said, “He’s good. No change since he woke up from fainting. You are trying to do the right thing and you want to be safe, and you want to err on the side of safety. I want to respect the professionals and respect what they are saying, but we want to be realistic, too.”

As it turns out, Larson was not the only driver sidelined for races during that season. Brian Vickers missed a fair number of races to treat some blood clots. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot at the Daytona International Speedway during the Xfinity season opener.

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Dhruv George

12544 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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