Keep an eye on Kyle Larson. He is primed as NASCAR’s next generation star. Impressive resume.
Kyle Larson (Age 20)
Kyle Miyata Larson is a Japanese American stock car racing driver. A member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, he is a development driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
The 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion and Rookie of the Year.
Made NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2012.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Statistics
Year Rank Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s
2012 1 14 2 1 8 12
2012: Became just the third driver in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history to capture the season championship and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the same season ... Recorded wins at Gresham and New Hampshire ... Earned the pole at Bowman Gray ... Was the runner-up at Clearfield and the August Iowa K&N Pro Series combination race ... Tied for the series lead with 12 top-10 finishes and led all competitors in laps completed.
Started racing at age seven in 1999 in the Box Stock Division … Racked up wins and championships through various levels of karting before he became the youngest driver to participate in a dirt Sprint Car in California in 2007 at the age of 14, and promptly became the state’s youngest winner … Also became the first driver under 16 to compete in a World of Outlaws Sprint Car race in 2007 … Continued to run Sprint Cars during the 2008-10 seasons … 2011 saw him rack up 22 professional feature wins across the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, all three USAC National Divisions, and in the American Sprint Car Series … Those 2011 triumphs included a sweep of the WoO Sprint Car Gold Cup and the Belleville Midget Nationals … Also in 2011 he became the second driver to ever sweep the prestigious 4-Crown Nationals in one night, winning in Silver Crown, Sprint Cars, and Midgets, at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway … His 2011 exploits netted a nomination for SPEED Performer of the Year … Finished third in the 2012 Chili Bowl … Is a development driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing … Will compete full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2012 with Rev Racing and Drive for Diversity.
Kyle Larson, whose mother is Japanese, raced last year in a Nascar program that develops minority and female drivers.
via Viv Bernstein of The New York Times:
By the time Kyle Larson was 14, his father said, he had won 10 championships and as many as 130 races in 550 starts. And that was just the beginning. Larson turned heads when he won three races in three different racecars one night at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio, in 2011. The owner of that speedway is Tony Stewart, a three-time Cup champion.
Asked if Larson was the next star of Nascar, Stewart said: “Yeah, you can bet the farm on it. I guarantee it. If not, you can take everything I own because I’m that confident. It’s not a matter of if; it’s when.”
The four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon is also among Larson’s fans.
“I have heard of Kyle for years now, and I am blown away by this kid,” Gordon said. “He makes me look like nothing.”