The lifestyle of a NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie: Kyle Larson’s Autoweek blog: Nationwide Series’ newest winner particulars the early days of his NASCAR career

Nationwide Series’; newest winner information the early days of his NASCAR career

By: Kyle Larson on March 26, 2014

At the age of 21, Kyle Larson is already making his mark in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – At the age of 21, Kyle Larson is already producing his mark in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Wow, I can hardly feel that I am already 5 races into my rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. If you noticed the video that Target place together that was posted on autoweek.com a couple of weeks in the past, you know that driving in NASCAR’;s highest series has usually been a dream of mine.

Seeking back, I am genuinely glad my mom took so several house videos of me as a child so that absolutely everyone had a chance to get a brief glimpse of my racing career. Even although I am only 21 and never have considerably encounter racing stock autos, I have been behind the wheel of something for most of my daily life. Beginning at the age of 7, I received in a go-kart that my dad created for me. Proper away, I was hooked. My mother and father both loved racing lengthy ahead of I was born, and I guess it was their passion for the sport that produced me want to get in a vehicle and give it a shot.

Given that initial receiving in a kart, I’;ve been in something with 4 wheels practically nonstop. People have stated that I will race anything at all, anywhere, anytime — and for most of my job, that has been accurate. From sprint-car racing all more than California and the rest of the country to late designs in Florida to midgets at dirt tracks in New Zealand, I have raced a good deal of automobiles at a lot of tracks. Now that I am a total-time driver in the Sprint Cup series, my racing is mainly constrained to the tracks of NASCAR in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS. And whilst I won’;t be racing as significantly I utilized to, there has been a lot to hold me occupied because joining the team at Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

I have had some actually wonderful experiences previously this year that probably would not have happened if I weren’;t a NASCAR rookie and a member of a versatile staff. Just before the NASCAR season kicked off, I was capable to drive for Ganassi Racing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sports-automobile race. It was a great expertise, acquiring to commit some time with, and drive with, the other members of the Ganassi racing household. One particular of the highlights of the race was becoming behind the wheel at night when the fireworks had been going off. Hopefully I can do that race again following 12 months. Perhaps I’;ll ultimately persuade Chip to put me in an Indy auto to pull the famed double: the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the exact same day.

Soon after a brief break following the sports-auto race, I was in Daytona for Speedweeks. Although waiting eagerly to get the season began, I had the possibility to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in one particular of their F-16 jets. Needless to say, it was the flight of a lifetime. We took off and virtually quickly flew straight up, as Daytona Speedway rapidly acquired smaller sized and smaller under us. The pilot took us down close to Cape Canaveral and worked through a great deal of maneuvers that are regimen for them. It undoubtedly gave me a new appreciation of pace!

I have also had some memorable experiences early in the season as a new member of the Target Racing loved ones. Ahead of heading down to Daytona for the 500, I had the chance to visit and to tour St. Jude Hospital and the Target House in Memphis. Through their charitable providing, Target helps to totally fund a home close to the St. Jude campus exactly where households can keep, rent free, even though their little one is being handled at the hospital. I had a great deal of fun meeting and speaking to a bunch of fantastic children and their households. It was genuinely extraordinary to see how little ones who are going via so significantly could even now be so satisfied and outgoing.

A lot more just lately, I was thrilled to be a portion of Target and Chip Ganassi Racing’;s celebration of 25 seasons as racing partners. The event, which took place above the Las Vegas race weekend, was rather spectacular. There had been acrobats, a auto unveiling and a concert that incorporated numerous nicely-known musicians that I am too younger to don’;t forget. Whilst I never actually listened to much music by Vince Neil, Dave Navarro, Mark McGrath or Fred Durst, they all did a great job playing a bunch of traditional songs I did know. At the party, we also unveiled the autos that will be racing in this year’;s Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in celebration of the 25 years of Ganassi’;s partnership with Target. Each the Indy vehicle and stock auto characteristic a silver paint scheme with red lettering, and they appear actually very good.

Aside from some sponsor commitments, which are enjoyable, and media commitments, which are generally enjoyable, I’;m nevertheless settling into a schedule that isn’;t going to contain racing all the time. Since I do have some free of charge time at house in amongst races, I am trying to get into a excellent work out schedule with my pit-crew coach, Shawn Peet. Doing work out for the purpose of racing has not actually been anything I have carried out in the previous, but I know that it’;s an essential point to do in excess of the extended season. Driving in a 400- or 500-mile race can genuinely consider it out of you, and having vitality left at the finish of the race can make the big difference between having a good or wonderful finish.

I’;m looking forward to what is to come during the rest of this season. Thankfully, I presently have a Nationwide win below my belt, along with 2 prime-10 finishes in the Cup Series. I am fired up to include to the 2 of individuals stats in the near potential as I try to win the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Yr and contend for a spot in the Chase for the Championship. Check out back in with me here every month to see what I am up to, on and off the track. It should be an exciting year!

Editor’;s note: Kyle Larson, 21, of Elk Grove, Calif., is in his initial complete-season season racing for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS. Larson has been racing because he was 6 years outdated, but he has only been racing stock autos for 3 years.

He was the 2012 K&N Pro Series East champion, as effectively as the series’; Rookie of the Yr. In 2013, even though racing with Turner Scott Motorsports, Larson captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Yr honors. Larson is also racing for TSM this season in the Nationwide Series, driving the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet Camaro. He resides in Huntersville, N.C.

Stick to his 2014 season here on autoweek.com and on Twitter @KyleLarsonRacin and @CGRTeams.

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