5 KYLE LARSON
Age: 28 (July 31, 1992)
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels
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No. 5 MetroTech Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
SECOND TIME AROUND: Kyle Larson finished second in the last three NASCAR Cup Series races, which occurred at Circuit of The Americas, Dover International Speedway and Darlington Raceway. The 28-year-old driver also finished runner-up in three consecutive events in 2017 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. Larson won the next race that year, which was held at Auto Club Speedway.
ONE-FIFTH FOR FIVE: There have been 3,799 laps completed during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, and Larson has paced the field a series-high 778 times. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has led just over 20%, or one-fifth, of all laps this season.
FAMILIAR SIGHT: Four Cup Series races have occurred on 1.5-mile tracks in 2021 for a total of 1,126 laps. Larson has led 509 of those for a 45% share: Homestead-Miami Speedway (five laps led), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (103), Atlanta Motor Speedway (269) and Kansas Speedway (132).
FIVE FOR FIVE: Larson has finished first or second in five of 14 races this season. The 2014 rookie of the year won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and posted second-place finishes at Circuit of The Americas, Dover, Darlington and Atlanta. Larson has posted seven top-five finishes (which rank second in Cup Series), nine top-10s and currently sits third in the driver point standings. He has the most stage victories this season (six) and has accumulated 11 playoff points – second-most of any driver.
OVAL OFFICE: In 11 points-paying starts at the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, Larson has one top-five finish (October 2016) and four top-10s. In 2019 when the annual NASCAR All-Star Race was held at Charlotte, the Elk Grove, California, native won the Open to gain entry into the All-Star Race, then led the final 13 laps to capture the victory in the exhibition event. Larson also won the Open in 2016.
WELCOME ABOARD, METROTECH: MetroTech Automotive will adorn the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. MetroTech Automotive has provided dealerships with their products and services for more than 30 years. Whether it be detail chemicals, supplies and equipment, paint and fabric protection or detail staffing, MetroTech Automotive has the answer. With a manufacturing plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a distribution center in Denver, Colorado, Metrotech Automotive can deliver products and services nationwide.
FALLEN SOLDIER: The No. 5 team will honor Lance Cpl. Edward “Eddie” Dycus, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, during the 600-mile race on Sunday. Born Dec. 12, 1989, in Greenville, Mississippi, Dycus always talked about joining the Marines while growing up. He graduated from Riverside High School in 2008 and went to bootcamp in Parris Island, South Carolina, in 2010, graduating one year later. On his birthday in 2011, Dycus was deployed to Afghanistan. He was there only six weeks when he was killed in action on Feb. 1, 2012. Jesse Maxcy of Hendrick Automotive Group’s marketing team was good friends with Dycus. Maxcy and Dycus were in the School of Infantry at Camp Giger where the two Marines studied, honed combat skills and mastered their specific jobs within the infantry. They also were both deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, to serve our country.
MILESTONES AT COTA: Chase Elliott’s victory Sunday at Circuit of The Americas was one for the ages. The win was No. 268 for Hendrick Motorsports, which tied the organization with the legendary Petty Enterprises for the all-time NASCAR Cup Series team record. In addition to winning the inaugural Cup race at COTA, Elliott delivered the milestone 800th victory in the series for manufacturer Chevrolet.
A PIECE OF HISTORY: The door panel of Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE from his historic Circuit of The Americas win is being auctioned online to benefit Victory Junction. It includes the autographs of 13-time NASCAR Cup Series champion owner Rick Hendrick and seven-time champion driver Richard Petty, along with Elliott, crew chief Alan Gustafson and the winning No. 9 team. The auction went live Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET and will continue until Sunday, May 30, at 7 p.m. ET. Visit the auction website by clicking here.
MAJOR MOMENT: Following its next trip to victory lane, Hendrick Motorsports will stand alone as the all-time leader in NASCAR Cup Series team wins – a distinction that has been held solely by Petty Enterprises for more than 60 years. Hendrick Motorsports also owns the NASCAR Cup Series records for championships (13), pole positions, runner-up finishes, top-five finishes, top-10 finishes and laps led.
YOUTH IS SERVED: With Sunday’s win at COTA, Hendrick Motorsports became the only team in NASCAR Cup Series history to send four drivers under the age of 30 to victory lane in a single season. Elliott (25 years old) joined teammates William Byron (23), Kyle Larson (28) and Alex Bowman (28) with points-paying wins this year. In addition, each of the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers have all but secured berths in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
FIT TO BE BOWTIED: When Elliott won at COTA, it marked Chevrolet’s 800th NASCAR Cup Series victory. Hendrick Motorsports has now delivered the 400th, 500th, 600th, 700th and 800th wins for the manufacturer. The last time a team other than Hendrick Motorsports won a milestone Cup Series race for Chevy was its 300th with Richard Childress Racing in 1986. Hendrick Motorsports has raced exclusively with Chevrolet since the team was founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984.
STREET SWEEPERS: Hendrick Motorsports immediately followed its historic 1-2-3-4 finish at Dover International Speedway with a 1-2 result at COTA with Elliott and runner-up Larson. It was the 45th time the team has finished in the first and second positions in the same race.
CLT HOMECOMING: The next challenge on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Sunday’s prestigious 600-miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is located 1 mile from Hendrick Motorsports. The team has won the annual Memorial Day weekend marathon race 11 times – more than anyone else – with a record five different drivers. Hendrick Motorsports also has the most total points-paying Cup victories on the CMS oval with 20, which have come via a track record eight different drivers. Its 20 combined points wins there are 12 more than any other team. In addition, the organization holds a record eight NASCAR All-Star Race wins at Charlotte and a record two victories on the venue’s ROVAL road-course layout.
INTERMEDIATE GAME: With 62, Hendrick Motorsports is the all-time leader in points-paying NASCAR Cup Series wins on 1.5-mile racetracks. The team’s total is eight more than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing, 21 more than Roush Fenway Racing and 31 more than Team Penske. At 1.5-mile venues in 2021, Hendrick Motorsports has the most race wins (two), stage wins (five), top-five finishes (six; tied) and laps led (664).
STREAK AT 32: Hendrick Motorsports finished first, second, eighth and 11th at Circuit of The Americas, which extended the team’s run of consecutive events with at least one car placing inside the top 10. At 32 races, the top-10 streak dates back to last season and is currently the fifth-longest in team history. Hendrick Motorsports recorded a NASCAR Cup Series record 87 top-10 finishes in a row from 2006 to 2008. In 2021, the organization has placed at least two cars inside the top 10 in 12 of 14 races, the most of anyone this season.
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on Hendrick Motorsports possibly breaking the record for most Cup Series wins by an organization: “I know it’s going to be special to Mr. Hendrick because every time I talk to him he brings it up. Now that we’re really close to it, we can all taste it. One more win and he breaks it, and I hope I’m the guy that can do it. I’m happy that I’m one of the drivers that contributed to his record. He’s had a long career of success and a lot of great drivers, and It’s just an amazing accomplishment.”
Larson on the day-to-night transition in 600: “Definitely looking forward to the 600 and getting back on a mile-and-a-half track where we have been one of the strongest cars all year long. Charlotte is a different mile-and-a-half compared to the other ones we’ve run so far. It’s really bumpy and the transition from day to night is challenging. For whatever reason, I’ve always struggled with that transition, so I’m really looking forward to taking on that challenge in a Hendrick Motorsports car. It’s a long race. We need to keep our nose clean, stay in the hunt and not doing anything too flashy until the end.”
Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on possible internal Hendrick Motorsports team rivalry to secure record for most wins by organization: “Absolutely we want to get that win for Mr. Hendrick, but that rivalry has not been spoken. All four of our teams are strong right now, and it would be special for us to get that victory for the organization and Mr. Hendrick. It’s not anything that any of us have ever talked about, but it’s unspoken that we all want to get that win for the company.”
Daniels on 1.5-mile track success in 2021 and translating that to Charlotte: “We’ve certainly looked at each mile-and-a-half track races run this year and any common thread we can pull from each to apply to Charlotte. We have been strong but there are no guarantees in this business. Other teams are working hard, so we have to keep upping our game, as well.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!