After his 2021 performance, Kyle Larson has a lot of admirers but there are those who believed in him before he won the championship.
Larson took the Cup Series by storm and was by far the best driver in the series. He has 10 race wins and a championship to show for it.
However, just one and a half years ago, he was suspended by NASCAR and fired by his team. If that wasn’t the case he would probably still be driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. But with no ride after reinstatement, Hendrick Motorsports swooped in to replace their retiring driver Jimmie Johnson.
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Larson hasn’t looked back since then and repaid the trust that his team put on him with wins after wins. Even before his 2021 heroics, Larson was considered to be a very talented driver and Jeff Gordon was one of the people who believed in his talents. Not only that, the Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports even asked the owner Rick Hendrick to sign the driver.
“I even go back to dirt racing because I have a sprint car and midget background. I’ve been watching him [Larson] for a long time. To be able to see him win on so many different levels in different series. And to see him finally get to Cup with Chip Ganassi. I always admired him and he and I became friends, because we’re from a similar area in California. So we somehow always run into one another and talk at races.”
It is a new journey for Gordon as the Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports. As for Larson, he will be looking to defend his title, but this time with another generation of cars with the Next Gen car series.
Despite 2022 season approaching soon, Next Gen car remains a work in progress