Who Is Kyle Larson’s Hero?

Published 12/29/2021, 9:35 AM EST
DAYTONA, FL – AUGUST 28: Kyle Larson, drier of the #5 Valvoline Instant Oil Change Chevrolet, during the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on August 28, 2021 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fl.(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Tony Stewart tweeted a heartfelt compliment about the 2021 champion, Kyle Larson. Now, this in itself is enormous praise. However, when you’re being called the ‘best’ by a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and Hall of Fame inductee, that’s something.

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For Kyle Larson, this tweet became something he’ll never forget, no matter the heights he reaches in his career. The reason is simple. Tony Stewart is Larson’s hero. The latter grew up watching Stewart, aspiring to be like him.

This is what Tony had posted: “Congratulations to the best race car driver I’ve ever seen.

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“If I really had a true racing hero, I would say it’s Tony Stewart. I’ve always believed him to be the best racecar driver ever,” Larson had said after the race in Phoenix. “I try to model my racing and my schedule off what I feel like Tony Stewart would do.”

Kyle Larson is better than Tony Stewart, according to the latter

Larson caught the eye of the world only a few years ago, coming into the mainstream headlines owing to his 2021 season. However, the current champion caught his hero’s eyes much, much earlier.

Stewart recalled when Larson was only 19. He said, “I remember watching him during the first time he ran the 4-Crown Nationals, and won all three races, in his first time racing here.”

“Kyle Larson is better than I was.”

Speaking of whether he believes his statement about him and Larson, Stewart said, “I honestly do.”

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 18: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Valvoline Chevrolet, waves to fans during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 18, 2021 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

When it comes to Kyle Larson, Stewart also has one regret in his mind, that being the chance to sign the “once in a lifetime” driver when he was a free agent in 2020.

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“That will be one of the biggest regrets of my professional career is not getting that kid and having an opportunity to race him in our cars,” Stewart said.

Larson will still be regarded as a modern-day great if he chose to retire at this point in his career. On top of that, for Larson, one of the biggest achievements of his career must be making his hero proud, making him regard you as better, as the best.

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Yet we all wish for a Kyle Larson-Tony Stewart contest on the track. Imagine how fun, how special would that be?

 

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Shaharyar

472 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 better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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