Kyle Larson’s been at the track for nearly his entire life. So saying that the 25 year old is prepared to become the next face of NASCAR is an understatement.
Larson first made a name for himself in 2012, when he began racing with the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team. He showed out by managing to win his first ever race, despite only taking the lead in the final lap—proving that he could perform under pressure. With kudos from racing legends like Tony Stewart at such a young age, Larson is clearly on track for greatness.
Learn more about your new favorite NASCAR star.
He’s Been At The Track Since He Was Born… Literally
Larson attended his first race with his parents just a week after his birth. He was seven when he entered his first race in his hometown of Elk Grove, Calif., using an outlaw kart, and he’s been a fan ever since. “I grew up wearing Jeff Gordon T-shirts and playing with Tony Stewart die-cast cars,” Larson told ESPN in a recent interview about his racing roots.
He Won Rookie of the Year… Three Times
In 2014, Larson had a fire rookie year on the circuit. He almost won several races and finished with the highest season standings among drivers that didn’t qualify for the 16-driver Chase field. Larson didn’t even think he’d clinch rookie of the year. “It’s pretty special to me to win Rookie of the Year…. I would say 80, maybe 90 percent of the people out there didn’t think we would be the Rookie of the Year at the end of the season and I don’t blame them.” He also won the K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013.
At The Age Of 25, He Already Has Three Cup Wins
Larson has three cup wins under his belt. He won his first, the Nascar Xfinity Series at Richmond, this past April and won the same cup again in Dover in June. Just two months later, on August 13, the Chevy rider pulled ahead to win the Monster Energy Nascar Cup series in Michigan. “There aren’t many other guys I would ever sit here and say that I would trade what I have now for the future they are going to have, but Kyle Larson is that guy. It’s going to be good to be him, trust me,” famed NASCAR racer Tony Stewart said about Larson’s future legacy.
He’s Half Japanese
Heavily covered in his recent ESPN E:60 interview, Larson’s mother is of Japanese descent, and her parents spent time in a Japanese internment camp. Larson originally hated that his mother gave him a traditional Japanese middle name, Miyata, and grew up wishing it was something more American, like Michael. But he grew to respect the name and eventually gave the name to his own son with partner Katelyn Sweet, who is the sister of NASCAR and World Of Outlaw sprint driver Brad Sweet.