Larson Hopes His Plate Racing Luck Changes

5 KYLE LARSON

Age: 29 (July 31, 1992)

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

Standings: 1st

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No. 5 Cincinnati Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

TIDE CONTINUES TO ROLL: Kyle Larson has accumulated 60 playoff points – an average of two playoff points earned per event – this season through six race wins (five points per win), 15 stage victories (one point per stage win) and winning the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship (15 points). He holds a 57-point advantage over the cutoff position entering Sunday’s Talladega Superspeedway race.

SECOND TO NONE: Through 30 of 36 Cup Series races, Larson leads the series in wins (career-best six), top-10s (career-best 22), stage wins (15), average start (6.7) and laps led (career-best 2,000) – 634 more laps led than his closest competitor. His career-best 16 top-five finishes are tied for the most in 2021.

TWO GRAND: Larson is one of only three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to lead 2,000 or more laps during a season. Jeff Gordon accomplished this feat three times (1995, 1996 and 2001) while Jimmie Johnson paced the field for more than 2,000 laps once (2009).

ONE OF TWO: Through four playoff races in 2021, two drivers have combined to win all eight stages. Denny Hamlin has secured five of those stage victories while Larson won the other three. The driver of the No. 5 Cincinnati Chevrolet ZL1 1LE has also posted top-10 results in all four races, the first Hendrick Motorsports driver to begin the playoffs with four consecutive top-10s since Johnson did so in 2013 – a season when Johnson also captured the Cup Series title.

BAKER’S DOZEN IN ‘BAMA: In 13 starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Larson has two top-10 finishes. He posted a ninth-place result in his first race at the Alabama track in 2014 while his best finish of sixth occurred in October 2016.

QUICK TIME: At 13.65 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).

SECOND ONE: This Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway marks the second of two races that Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) will appear as the primary sponsor on the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Cincinnati is a U.S.-based manufacturer of metal fabrication machinery and has shipped close to 60,000 machines in its 120 years of operation. On its 80-acre campus in Harrison, Ohio, sits a 500,000-square-foot plant, which manufactures CNC laser cutters, press brakes, shears, automation, powder metal presses, and additive manufacturing equipment. Learn more at www.e-ci.com or engage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

TALLADEGA HEIGHTS: Hendrick Motorsports holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most Talladega Superspeedway wins by a single organization with 13. It has sent seven different drivers to victory lane there: Jeff Gordon (six wins), Jimmie Johnson (two), Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader.

SUPER STATS: Going into Sunday’s race at Talladega, Hendrick Motorsports owns more combined superspeedway wins than any team in Cup Series history. At the big tracks of Daytona and Talladega, it has posted a record 28 victories with 11 different drivers.

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on how he prepares for Talladega: “I’ve never really challenged for a superspeedway victory. It’s a different kind of race where you are in the middle of a draft for most of the race. I’ll look at past races and see what drivers did at the end of the stages or at the end of the races to see what might work or what I could possibly do different.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on strategy at Talladega: “Talladega is a wildcard, for sure. We’re going to maximize points as best we can during the stages and we want to be there at the end. We’re going to have to call a smart race and work with our teammates. Hopefully we’re there at the end battling for the win.”

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

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