Kyle Larson is one of NASCAR’s greatest talents and that was on display when he claimed the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship in his first year with Hendrick Motorsports. It was a record-breaking season and one of the best in the sport’s history.
The 30-year-old driver will undoubtedly become a member of the NASCAR Hall-of-Fame one day but the success is nowhere near done yet.
Kyle Larson’s outlook for the 2023 NASCAR season
Larson finished the 2022 season with an exit in the Round of 12 while having a final stat-line of three wins, 13 top-5 finishes, 19 top-10 finishes, and a 14.1 average finishing position.
Yet, it may have felt like a down year for the Hendrick Motorsports driver. Larson won 10 races en route to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship but that was impossible to replicate this season.
Larson had a successful year but it was plagued by an incredible amount of engine issues and personal mistakes on his end. In fact, that is why he missed the Round of 8 after a mistake at the Charlotte ROVAL combined with Christopher Bell’s heroics put him below the cut-line.
However, Larson closed out the season on a higher note with a dominating victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It represented a flashback to how he competed during the 2022 season.
The driver of the No. 5 car unquestionably has a positive outlook for the 2023 season. Larson will be a Championship 4 contender every single year and that is very likely to continue as he starts his third season with crew chief Cliff Daniels.
Larson’s future in the NASCAR Cup Series has been a debatable topic for years. This even dates back to his time in the No. 42 car for Chip Ganassi Racing before the 2020 season.
Now, it might be even more confusing due to his second chance in the sport and recent success with Hendrick Motorsports.
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Kyle Larson’s future in NASCAR has some critical questions
Larson’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series has been full of success; however, it has also come with controversy that stems from his own mistake. Let’s take a look at how he reached this point in his Cup Series career.
The 30-year-old driver joined Chip Ganassi Racing in 2014 for his rookie season but it wasn’t until the 2016 season that he started winning races. Larson won his first career Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway that year.
Then, Larson broke out with four victories during the 2017 season but it did not result in a championship. All of his success with Chip Gannas Racing resulted in six victories over the course of five seasons.
The sixth season of his full-time Cup Series was in 2020 and during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Larson was suspended for saying a racial slur on iRacing and lost his ride with the organization.
The current driver of the No. 5 car spent the rest of the season out of the sport before coming back to NASCAR for the 2021 season with Hendrick Motorsports. Larson’s first year with the team resulted in a Cup Series championship.
It has been a notable past for him but the future is even more intriguing. Larson has been on record saying he wanted to retire from NASCAR and move to full-time sprint cars before he turns 40 years old.
This means he would only have 10 years left in NASCAR at the most. However, this was before his suspension from the sport which may have changed his tune. As of now, Larson plans to retire at Hendrick Motorsports but the timeframe may have changed.
It is unknown how long Larson might grace NASCAR with his talent. It could be in the coming years so he can pursue a World of Outlaws championship or into his mid-40s as he is grateful for a second chance in the sport.
Either way, Larson will be successful no matter where he races in the future. NASCAR is grateful to have his talent and despite the questions surrounding his future, there are reasons to be hopeful for more championships.