Is Larson The Favorite At Phoenix?

5 KYLE LARSON

Age: 29 (July 31, 1992)

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

Standings: 1st

Twitter Instagram Facebook

No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, will be available to members of the media at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 6, following qualifying. To watch live, visit NASCAR.com/presspass.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Kyle Larson is one of four drivers who will compete for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. He has two season-long titles on his resume: the 2012 NASCAR ARCA Series East championship and the 2010 Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car championship.

ANIMAL STYLE: Entering the season finale, Larson leads the series in wins (nine), top-five finishes (19), top-10s (25), stage wins (17), laps led (2,474) and average start (6.4) – all career-bests. His laps led total is 972 more than the closest competitor and, no matter the results on Sunday, the Elk Grove, California, native will finish the season atop the standings in wins, laps led and stage victories.

COMBO NO. 1 AND NO. 2: Along with nine 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 43% of the Cup Series races held in 2021.

CHASING FOUR-TIME: Larson’s laps led total of 2,474 is the most ever during a 36-race season and is the most since former Hendrick Motorsports driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon paced the field for 2,610 circuits in 1995. If Larson leads at least 137 laps at Phoenix, he will set the record for most laps led by a Hendrick Motorsports driver during a season in just his first year with the championship organization.

BACK TO THE FRONT: After starting from the rear of the field due to inspection issues at Phoenix in March, Larson rallied back from two pit road speeding penalties to finish seventh in the 312-lap event. Overall, the 29-year-old driver has five top-five finishes and eight top-10s, including the last five he has entered.

UPPING THEIR GAME: At 13.64 seconds, the No. 5 pit crew owns the quickest average time for four-tire pit stops in 2021. During the playoffs, their average time is even quicker at a series-best 13.37 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.

OVER $200K: 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 35 races, he has already pledged more than $140,000 and raised more than $200,000. To learn more, please visit KyleLarsonFoundation.org.

CHAMPIONSHIP FOCUS: On Sunday, Hendrick Motorsports will field two championship contenders – Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson – in the title-deciding NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway. It will be the first time the team has placed two drivers in the Championship 4 since NASCAR went to its current playoff format in 2014. Hendrick Motorsports holds the all-time records for Cup Series championships (13) and different drivers to win a title (four). Jimmie Johnson (seven championships), Jeff Gordon (four), Elliott (2020) and Terry Labonte (1996) have all won Cup trophies for the organization.

BOWTIE 40TH: Chevrolet has secured the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series manufacturer championship, marking its milestone and record-extending 40th. With one race remaining in the season, Chevy teams have won 18 of 35 points-paying events. In 2021, Hendrick Motorsports has delivered 16 of the 18 Chevrolet victories (89%) and contributed 83% of the points toward the manufacturer title. Since Rick Hendrick founded the team in 1984, 279 of Chevy’s 551 wins (51%) have come from his stable.

IN THE DUST: Entering Sunday’s Cup Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports holds the track records for wins (11), pole positions (12), top-five finishes (50), top-10s (92) and laps led (2,904). Elliott clinched the 2020 Cup Series championship with his win there last November.

GO TIME: Hendrick Motorsports has won five of the nine 2021 Cup Series playoff races – including each of the last four – and eight of 14 dating back to last year. It has recorded at least one playoff win in 17 straight seasons (since the playoffs began in 2004) and notched 52 combined wins in playoff races, which is the most. A Hendrick Motorsports driver has won in each of the last six playoff elimination races, including Elliott’s title-clinching performance at Phoenix in 2020.

STAGING AREA: With 27 stage wins thus far in 2021, Hendrick Motorsports is tied with Joe Gibbs Racing (2019) for the most ever in a single Cup Series season. The team will have an opportunity to break the record Sunday at Phoenix.

TOP-TWOS: With one race remaining, Hendrick Motorsports has recorded 32 top-two finishes in 2021, which is tied with JGR (2019) for the most in a single season in NASCAR’s modern era (since 1972). Hendrick Motorsports has swept the first and second positions in seven races this year, including a string of four straight 1-2 finishes.

YEAR TO REMEMBER: The 2021 season has been one of the most memorable in the history of Hendrick Motorsports. In May, the team finished 1-2-3-4 at Dover International Speedway, won Chevrolet’s milestone 800th race at Circuit of the Americas and at Charlotte Motor Speedway broke Petty Enterprises’ long-standing record for Cup Series wins. With one event remaining on the calendar, Hendrick Motorsports has recorded 16 points-paying victories, which is its second-most in a single season (18 in 2007). It became the only team since 1972 to win six consecutive points races – and seven overall including Larson’s non-points NASCAR All-Star Race victory. With its entire four-car stable contributing to the 2021 total, Hendrick Motorsports is the first team in Cup Series history with four race winners under the age of 30 in a single season.

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on his mindset heading to Phoenix Raceway: “It’s definitely the most important race ever in my career. I’m fortunate that it’s at Phoenix. It’s a track I haven’t won at before, but I’ve had some really good runs there, and earlier this year we had a really, really good race car. I just made two mistakes and sped on pit road two different times. If I can clean up those mistakes, I think we’ll have a great shot to win as well as the other three guys who I’m sure I’ll be going up against. It’ll be tough, but I’m looking forward to a chance to race for a championship.”

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on using notes from the spring Phoenix race: “The best experience that we have to go off of is the spring race that we had there. Our car was really fast. We had a couple of mistakes of Kyle speeding on pit road, and some of that was on us too just for getting the timing marks down. But we’ve learned from that and we have good notes from that race. Of course, great notes from Alan (Gustafson) and Chase (Elliott) winning the championship and winning the race there last year. So, those two recent data points of ourselves and our teammates are just great to have and great to go off of and build from.”

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.