5 KYLE LARSON
Age: 29 (July 31, 1992)
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels
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No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
MAKING HISTORY: Kyle Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team overcame an alternator issue to win the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL event on Sunday. It marked his seventh victory of 2021 and 13th career win in the NASCAR Cup Series. Along with his wins at Sonoma Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August, Larson is the only driver in Cup Series history to win three road course races in one season.
MAKING A POINT: Larson has accumulated 65 playoff points this season through seven race wins (five points per win), 15 stage victories (one point per stage win) and winning the Cup Series regular season championship (15 points). He enters the Round of 8 with a 35-point advantage over second place and a 42-point advantage over the cutoff position.
SECOND TO NONE: Through 32 of 36 Cup Series races, Larson leads the series in wins (career-best seven), stage wins (15) and laps led (career-best 2,011) – 614 more laps led than his closest competitor. His 17 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s are both career-bests and tie him for the most in 2021.
OVER 40: Along with seven wins, Larson has also posted runner-up finishes in six races. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has finished in the top two in 41 percent of the Cup Series races held this year.
YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: In June at Texas Motor Speedway in the annual NASCAR All-Star Race, Larson battled Brad Keselowski and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott late before maneuvering into first and leading the final seven laps to capture the $1 million payday. It marked the second win for the 29-year-old in the annual exhibition race where no championship points are awarded.
UPPING THEIR GAME: At 13.65 seconds, the No. 5 pit crew owns the quickest average time for four-tire pit stops in 2021. During the playoffs, the team’s average time is even quicker with a series-best 13.24 seconds. 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.
NOW THE RACE IS ON: In March, Larson announced the launch of the Kyle Larson Foundation, which was established to better serve today’s youth, families and communities in need through hands-on support. The Sanneh Foundation and the Urban Youth Racing School are the primary beneficiaries of the foundation, which will also work closely with Hendrick Cares, the corporate social responsibility program of Hendrick Automotive Group. To kickstart the “Drive for 5,” Larson pledged a personal donation of $5 for every Cup Series lap he completes this season and will contribute another $5,000 for every top-five finish he earns. Through 32 races, he has already pledged more than $122,000 and raised more than $190,000. To learn more, please visit KyleLarsonFoundation.org.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: Following Kyle Larson’s performance Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated 49 all-time wins during the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs – 16 more than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing (33) and more than double third-place Penske Racing (24). In six playoff events this year, the team has won twice – both coming courtesy of Larson. Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane in the seventh race of the playoffs a record seven times.
OOPS … WE DID IT AGAIN: Hendrick Motorsports has now won five consecutive Cup Series playoff elimination races dating back to last season. In 2020, Chase Elliott won the final three cutoff events – held at the ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway – en route to winning the Cup Series championship. This year, Larson won at Bristol Motor Speedway, which hosted the first elimination race of the 2021 playoffs, and Sunday’s event at the ROVAL.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: Sunday’s showdown at Texas Motor Speedway will mark the eighth NASCAR Cup Series race held at a 1.5-mile venue in 2021. This season, Hendrick Motorsports has led 1,153 laps on intermediate tracks – the most ever by a team in the first seven events.
BATTING .500: In the last 20 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races, Hendrick Motorsports has recorded 10 victories. No other organization has more than four in that span.
EVERYTHING’S BIGGER: Entering Sunday’s playoff race at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports owns or shares the track records for points-paying wins (nine; tie), pole positions (seven; tie), top-five finishes (40) and top-10s (72). The organization is second in laps led there – just 13 behind leader Roush Fenway Racing.
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on outlook for this round: “We’ve been good on the intermediate tracks this year and we have two to start this round. We weren’t as good as I would have liked at Texas, but we were able to get the victory in the All-Star Race. And we led a lot of laps at Kansas, so we are looking forward to getting back there. We ran top five at Martinsville, and that is a track where I don’t have much success but feel positive about it because of how we ran there in the spring.”
Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, previewing Round of 8: “We won the Texas All-Star Race, but we weren’t that good at the beginning and had to work on that car a lot. We learned a lot in that race. We led a lot of laps at Kansas but didn’t finish out that race like we wanted. Martinsville has not been one my or Kyle’s best tracks, but we had great notes from the (No.) 9 team from their win last year and we ran fifth earlier this year.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!