Kyle Larson’s 2024 season could feature up to 40 dirt races

'Yung Money' has set a robust schedule across multiple disciplines

As if Kyle Larson wasn’t busy enough in 2024, he also intends to race in at least a dozen Dirt Late Model races around everything else he has going on.

Let’s do the math:

38 Cup Series races
Around 20 Sprint Car races
The month of May and the Indianapolis 500
15 Dirt Late Model races

His 2024 slate begins Jan 6-14 at Vado Speedway Park in New Mexico where he will race the K&L Rumley Enterprises No.6 in the Wild West Shootout for the second consecutive year. It’s also the reason he is once again not racing in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

Despite the recent purse increase for the Chili Bowl, the Wild West Shootout still has a considerably larger purse, with five $10,000-to-win races and a $25,000-to-win Saturday night feature. Larson has also enjoyed his time behind the wheel of a Late Model the past three years, something he didn’t grow up doing as open-wheel devotee.

“I’m definitely excited for the Late Model,” Kyle Larson told DirtonDirt’s Derek ‘D-Suave’ Kessinger last week. “It’s been so long since I’ve run and I haven’t raced a lot this offseason. I’m excited just to get to race something and back in the Late Model at a fun track.

“There will definitely be less Late Model races I get to run this year just because my Sprint Car schedule is so busy. May is busy. My schedule is crazy this year. Unfortunately, that means less Late Model races but I still think I’ll hit 15 or so, which is better than nothing I guess.

“Hopefully Kevin (Rumley) can keep (Brandon Sheppard) in the car or someone else to keep learning to make the car better and better. It’s always fun to race with Kevin and Jacqueline (Rumley.)”

Vado is a wide 3/8-mile race track that allows for open-wheel style slide job passes and that’s also part of the appeal to Larson.

“It’s a great race track compared to a lot of Late Model tracks,” Larson said. “Most Late Model tracks, you just run momentum through the middle and three-quarters of the track like (Jonathan Davenport) does at most tracks.

Vado, you can do a little bit of that if the track gets good, but at Vado you have search around for the brown dirt on the very bottom or once the cushion comes in, you can pound the top pretty hard.

“It’s still tough to pass at like most Late Model tracks are but not as much as a number of them. I like it. I feel like it’s the perfect kind of race track for any kind of car. That’s why it put on some of the best racing of the year. It should be a good time and hopefully I can win one.”

With the introduction of his own national Sprint Car series, one he co-owns with five-time World of Outlaws champion and brother-in-law Brad Sweet; Larson is out to inject a great deal of cash and attention into the discipline that is his first love.

It also means challenging the Outlaws, the recognized leading sanctioning body for almost four decades.

“Obviously, I’m on the High Limit side, so I’m going to say its better than what it was months ago,” Larson said. “I think the fans that complain, and maybe complain isn’t the right word, but voice concern about having two national series, I think don’t understand the big picture, our charter system.

“Why would race fans not want a team owner to be able to make money with his race team. That’s a crazy thing to think about what we’re trying to do.

“I’m just excited to prove to people that we are good. And I’m sure the Outlaws will have to change their business model to remain the premier series like they are. It’s fun. It’s fun to be part of it. There are a lot of passionate people on our side.”

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
Credit: Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

But first, before his Sprint Car season begins or even his NASCAR campaign in February at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum starts, he has six races in New Mexico to scratch his Late Model itch and maybe even win a race too.

If he can get past World of Outlaws Late Model champion Bobby Pierce, that is.

“I think his car is probably better than it was a year ago too,” Larson said. “He’ll be a lot tougher than he was then. I don’t know if (Davenport) is coming or not. I had a lot of fun racing him.

“I’m glad (Ricky Thornton Jr.) won’t be there, and will be at the Chili Bowl, because he put together a spectacular season. If he were at Vado, he might sweep the whole week. I know Kevin has worked really hard on our car and it was great to see (Sheppard) win the Dirt Track World Championship … We’ll see.

“I’m not expecting to go there and win. Hopefully they have the cushion against the wall and I can knock the deck out trying to win.”

Ultimately, Larson just wants to have a good time and continue building an event up in its third year.

“The racing was obviously really good every night,” Kyle Larson said. “I came up short a little bit some nights for the win but the overall fun of the racing was great. It was fun to see the crowd grow each night. Sounded like it was much larger than the year before so that made me feel good; feel like I was helping the event out. That was the goal for me; help them gain some fans and stuff.

“It was a lot of fun. I got to watch the Chili Bowl, which was fun and a different view for me. I’m excited to go back and hopefully win this time to close out a fun off-season of racing.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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