Rich in history, it’s not surprising that Darlington Raceway is challenging for fresh-faced NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson.
“Each lap you run, your car gets worse,” the Rookie of The Year candidate told the media Friday afternoon. He believes that, out of the tracks on the schedule, Darlington is “the most on-edge.”
The press conference was to announce Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s new partnership with Oscar Mayer to introduce P3 Portable Protein Packs to the NASCAR population. The topic soon turned to the young driver and the gains he’s been making on the racetrack. Larson currently resides 15th in points after earning two tops 5s and three top 10. In the Rookie of The Year standings, the driver of the No. 42 has a nine-point lead over a stout field, one that includes another top contender in Austin Dillon.
About the battle with Dillon, Larson noted, “[Austin Dillon] is really good at finishing races…I want to win [the Rookie of The Year honor] really bad.”
The driver has been busy in 2014, running NASCAR Nationwide Series races in addition to the full Sprint Cup schedule. He won his first NNS event at Auto Club Speedway, competing against NSCS veteran Kyle Busch for the victory. The two have raced side-by-side many times, although Larson assured they are just doing their jobs.
“I wouldn’t say [Kyle Busch and I] have a rivalry. We’re just racing each other hard each week.”
His performances in NNS races may not be earning him points, yet the finishes have propelled TCGR to third in the series’ owner standings.
Larson’s first year in the top-tier of NASCAR has produced many headlines, and, with his ability to adapt, there are many more to come.