Larson Will Have To Be Aggressive At The Glen

5 KYLE LARSON

Age: 29 (July 31, 1992)

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

Standings: 2nd

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No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: On July 31, Kyle Larson celebrated his 29th birthday with a trip to victory lane. Competing in the World of Outlaws dirt late model Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury Speedway in Illinois, Larson led the final 70 laps en route to his first World of Outlaws Late Models feature win. The Elk Grove, California, native is the only driver ever to win a feature event in both the World of Outlaws Late Models and World of Outlaws Sprint Cars.

FINAL FOUR: In four races following the 26th race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, playoff points will be awarded to the top 10 drivers in the standings with 15 markers awarded to first place, 10 to second, eight to third, seven to fourth, and so on. Larson currently is ranked second in the regular-season standings, just 13 points behind the leader. If he can erase that deficit in the four remaining regular-season races, it would be worth an additional five playoff points – the equivalent of an extra race win – in Larson’s favor heading into the playoff stretch.

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: In six Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Larson has one top-five finish and three top-10s. In six NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 2.45-mile New York road course, the 29-year-old driver has one top-five result – a third-place finish in 2016.

TOP LEVEL: Through 22 of 36 Cup Series races, Larson leads the series in wins (four), second-place finishes (five), stage wins (12), playoff points (32), and laps led (1,441). He is tied for most top-five finishes (11), most top-10s (15) and most pole positions (one).

GOLDEN STATE WIN: In June at Sonoma Raceway, Larson won both stages and led 57 of 92 laps to capture his first Cup Series road course victory. Overall, he has 18 starts on road courses in the Cup Series with one win, three top-five finishes, six top-10s and four stage victories (second-most all-time). In sports cars, Larson competed in the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA for Chip Ganassi Racing from 2014 through 2016 and was victorious in 2015.

NOT SO AVERAGE: At 13.66 seconds, the No. 5 pit crew owns the quickest average time for four-tire pit stops in 2021. The over-the-wall crew is comprised of gasman Brandon Harder, jackman Brandon Johnson, tire carrier R.J. Barnette and tire changers Donnie Tasser (front) and Calvin Teague (rear).

YOUR CAR NEEDS: This weekend, Larson will drive the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. From the convenience of home, customers can select the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at HendrickCars.com. The website also makes it easy for customers to find one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 93 dealership locations nationwide.

WE’RE HIRING: Hendrick Automotive Group is hiring more than 300 technicians at its dealerships throughout the country. Positions are open for all skill levels and offer tuition and training reimbursement. Interested people can apply at HendrickCars.com.

HOGGING THE ROAD: Hendrick Motorsports holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for all-time road-course victories with 23, which is 10 more than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing. The organization has won on road courses with a series-high seven different drivers: Jeff Gordon (nine wins), Chase Elliott (seven), Tim Richmond (three), Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd and Geoff Bodine. Hendrick Motorsports also has the most road-course stage wins of any team with 11.

ALL THE (ROAD) RAGE: In NASCAR Cup Series road races since 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane in eight of 12 events, won 10 of 24 stages, led 475 of 1,050 laps (45%), and posted three 1-2 finishes.

WIN AT THE GLEN: With eight trips to victory lane at Watkins Glen International, Hendrick Motorsports is the venue’s all-time leader in NASCAR Cup Series wins. The team also holds the track records for pole positions (seven) and laps led (632).

SEVEN OF 10: Over the last 10 NASCAR Cup Series points races, Hendrick Motorsports has won seven times (the most), finished 1-2 on four occasions (most), won 10 of 21 stages (most), and led 1,308 of 2,131 laps raced (61%). With 40 total entries across the most recent 10 events, the team has scored 19 top-five finishes (most) and 26 top-10s (most).

THROUGH 22: After 22 of 36 points-paying races in 2021, Hendrick Motorsports has won 10 times to tie its most ever at this time of the year. Its 16 stage wins are the most in history by any organization going into the 23rd points race. Hendrick Motorsports has tied its most top-five finishes (34) and posted its fourth-most laps led (2,056) at the 22-event mark. The four-car stable has recorded 53 top-10s in 2021, which represent the second-most ever by any team at this point in a season.

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on racing at Watkins Glen: “Watkins Glen isn’t my best road course track, but I enjoy racing there. It’s fun because it’s fast-paced. With little fall off (in times), you have to be aggressive the whole run and it seems you have to make some hairy passes in the braking zones to get by people.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on Watkins Glen compared to other road courses: “Watkins Glen is unique because it’s so fast and there’s not a lot of fall off (in lap times due to tire wear). Some of the other road courses we’ve been to like Circuit of The Americas and Road America are fast in some areas, but there’s a lot of fall off. We’ve been fortunate to look back through the (No.) 9 team’s notes from ’18 and ’19 when they won and make the best decisions we can based on that.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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