Larson at Richmond Raceway in 2019
|Born||Kyle Miyata Larson|
July 31, 1992
Elk Grove, California
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Weight||135 lb (61 kg)|
|Achievements||2011 Belleville Midget Nationals Champion|
2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion
2012, 2016, 2019 Turkey Night Grand Prix Winner
2013 UNOH Battle at the Beach All-American Winner
2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona Overall Winner
2016 Sprint Showdown Winner
2016 Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby Winner
2019 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Winner
2020 Chili Bowl Nationals Champion
2020 Indiana Midgetweek winner
2020 Pennsylvania Speedweeks winner
2020 Hoosier Hundred winner
|Awards||2011 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year|
2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year
2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
|NASCAR Cup Series career|
|223 races run over 8 years|
|Best finish||6th (2019)|
|First race||2013 Bank of America 500 (Charlotte)|
|Last race||2020 FanShield 500 (Phoenix)|
|First win||2016 Pure Michigan 400 (Michigan)|
|Last win||2019 Drydene 400 (Dover)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|108 races run over 6 years|
|Best finish||8th (2013)|
|First race||2013 DRIVE4COPD 300 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2018 Food City 300 (Bristol)|
|First win||2014 Treatmyclot.com 300 (Fontana)|
|Last win||2018 Food City 300 (Bristol)|
|NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series career|
|13 races run over 5 years|
|Best finish||35th (2012)|
|First race||2012 UNOH 225 (Kentucky)|
|Last race||2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 (Homestead)|
|First win||2013 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Rockingham)|
|Last win||2016 Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby (Eldora)|
|Statistics current as of March 8, 2020.|
Kyle Miyata Larson (born July 31, 1992) is an American professional stock car racing driver and World of Outlaws sprint car team owner. Currently a free agent, he last competed full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Chip Ganassi Racing. He is the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and a Rookie of the Year. He is the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year as well as the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, an overall winner of the 2015 24 Hours of Daytona and 2020 Chili Bowl Nationals Champion.
Early career and open wheel career
A resident of Elk Grove, California, Larson attended his first race with his parents a week after his birth. He began racing at the age of seven in outlaw karts in Northern California. As a teenager, he raced open-wheel cars, including United States Auto Club (USAC) midget, Silver Crown and sprint cars, competing for Keith Kunz Motorsports and Hoffman Racing with Toyota backing; He also raced in World of Outlaws sprint cars. His first sprint car race win came at Placerville Speedway, where he was one of the youngest drivers to ever compete. He won the 2011 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, winning in all three types of USAC cars in a single night, only the second driver in history to accomplish the feat. He won two Silver Crown races that season and was awarded the series' 2011 Rookie of the Year. He holds the sprint car track record at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California, set in 2010. In 2012, he won six USAC National Midget races including the Turkey Night Grand Prix. Even during his stock car career, Larson continued racing open-wheel cars for midweek races in addition to going to New Zealand in some off-seasons to race.
While there was some interest in IndyCar racing, Larson was signed for the 2012 racing season by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (EGR) as part of the team's driver development program. In February 2012, at the Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna Speedway, Larson made his first start in a full-bodied stock car and won the race, leading only the final lap. A week later, He won again at the speedway during the World Series of Asphalt. Larson ran full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, driving for Rev Racing. In the first race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Larson finished 9th after starting 6th. At the Bowman Gray Stadium, Larson started on the pole and later finished 5th. He won his first K&N Pro Series East win at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia. Larson earned his 2nd career win at New Hampshire. On June 15, 2012, Larson made his ARCA Racing Series debut at Michigan International Speedway, driving for Eddie Sharp Racing. He finished 13th in the event. On November 3, 2012, Larson won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship with two wins and twelve top tens in 14 races, overcoming the five wins of Corey LaJoie (son of two-time Busch Series champion Randy). Larson also named the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year. On June 7, 2014, Larson won his first ARCA win at Pocono Raceway from the pole.
In April 2013, Larson won his first Truck Series win at Rockingham Speedway in a close finish with Joey Logano. During the celebration, Larson performed donuts without his steering wheel on, a practice he had acquired when racing go karts. The celebration prompted NASCAR to request him to keep it attached, regarding safety concerns because Larson would not have much control of the truck without the steering wheel. He finished 2nd in the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.
In 2020, Larson had been announced to be re-joining GMS Racing to drive the No. 24 truck for the Homestead race. The collaboration stemmed from Kevin Harvick offering a bounty to full-time Cup drivers to beat Kyle Busch.
In 2013, Larson moved full-time to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the No. 32 Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports. On the last lap of the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, he was involved in a violent crash in which his car went airborne and pierced the catchfence, completely ripping the front end of his car off. He was unharmed, but the debris hurt a number of spectators in the stands. In the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Larson was sent off the track and into the tire barriers on lap one. However, after falling three laps down due to repairs, Larson recovered to finish on the lead lap in 14th. After a 2nd-place finish at Homestead, Larson won the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Asian-American and first Drive for Diversity participant to win a Rookie of the Year Award in one of NASCAR's national touring series.
In 2014, while Larson moved full-time to the Cup Series, he drove the No. 42 car on a part-time basis. At Bristol, Larson started on the pole and finished 2nd to Kyle Busch. On March 22, Larson won his first ever Nationwide Series win at Auto Club Speedway, holding off Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. In victory lane, Larson stated, "Those last 11, 12 laps were the longest laps of my life. I've been so close to winning so many times, but the fashion we did it in was extra special." Larson once again celebrated by doing burnouts in the infield without a steering wheel. On May 24, Larson earned his second career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, edging Brad Keselowski.
In 2015, Larson drove the No. 42 car part-time for HScott Motorsports, sharing the ride with 2 other drivers. At Daytona, Larson finished 8th after being spun out on the last lap. He won at Homestead-Miami Speedway after holding off Austin Dillon, and the first win for HScott Motorsports.
In 2016, Larson continued to drive the No. 42 part-time for Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR). During the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Larson passed Joey Logano with 15 laps to go and almost won the race until a caution came out with 2 laps to go. Larson lost the race to Denny Hamlin and finished 6th. Larson won at Pocono after the race was called due to rain on lap 53. He would win again later in the season at Texas Motor Speedway.
On August 27, 2013, The Charlotte Observer reported that Larson will drive the No. 42 car in the Sprint Cup Series for CGR for the 2014 season and would compete for the Rookie of the Year honors. The deal was officially announced on August 30, 2013. On October 1, it was announced that Larson would make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing to prepare for his rookie season. At Charlotte, Larson qualified 21st and finished 37th after an engine failure on lap 247. Larson made his second Cup start at Martinsville Speedway where started 26th and finished 42nd after another engine failure. At Texas, Larson started 36th and finished 23rd. He finished 15th at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In his Daytona 500 debut, Larson got into the wall twice, and despite fixing the damage, he spun out on lap 22. Larson finished 38th after being crashed out by Austin Dillon on lap 163. At the Auto Club 400, Larson qualified 11th and later finished second to Kyle Busch. At Richmond, Larson recorded a speed of 126.880 miles per hour (204.194 km/h). After qualifying was rained out, Larson started first based on being the fastest in practice. During the race, he was spun out by Clint Bowyer on lap 1, but recovered later and finished 16th. Larson finished ninth at Talladega after starting 29th. He had a very impressive run at Pocono Raceway where he ran in the top ten the entire race and finished fifth. At Michigan, Larson spun out on lap 7; despite that, he spent 33 laps recovering from 43rd to finish eighth.
During the Michigan race, Larson blocked one of his strong supporters Tony Stewart trying to go for the lead; the block damaged Stewart's grille. In response, Stewart tried to retaliate under a yellow-flag period. When told that Stewart was mad at him for the block, Larson shrugged it off replying "Tony being Tony I guess. I was pretty tight on whoever was inside of me on the restart, and I was looking in my mirror and saw him juke to the right so I juked to the right and he hit me, and I don't know, he was just trying to teach me a lesson I'm guessing." Before the Sonoma race Stewart warned Larson, angrily saying "He'll learn not to block me anytime soon." Larson crashed early in the Coke Zero 400 where he finished 36th. He rebounded the next race at Loudon with a third-place finish. Larson finished seventh in the Brickyard 400. He earned his first Cup Series pole at Pocono Raceway where he set the track record with a lap speed of 183.438 mph (295.215 km/h).
Larson missed his chance to make the Chase after poor finishes in the final two regular season races. At Chicagoland, Larson led 20 laps and finished third. At New Hampshire, Larson finished second to Joey Logano. At Kansas, he finished second again to Logano and his third runner-up finish. At the season finale at Homestead, Larson finished 13th and won the Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year over Austin Dillon with his statistics being higher than other rookie seasons in history, such as those of Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon.
In 2015, Larson began the season with a crash in the Daytona 500 where he finished 34th. Larson finished eighth at Las Vegas, his first Top 10 of the year. He finished 10th at Phoenix. During a autograph session at Martinsville Speedway, Larson fainted and was hospitalized. He was replaced by Regan Smith. Two days later, He was released from the hospital with a diagnosis of dehydration as being the cause of the faint.
Larson started on the pole in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway after qualifying was cancelled due to rain and finished 35th with two laps down. After a 12th-place finish at Richmond, Larson failed to make the Chase. During the Charlotte race, Larson and Kyle Busch both collided at the entrance of pit road which ended Larson's chances of winning and finished 21st with one lap down.
Larson started out the 2016 season with a seventh-place finish at Daytona, marking his first Top 10 and first non-DNF. Larson ran very well at Martinsville where he finished third. He also had a Top 5 car at Kansas before being caught up in a crash with Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski and finished 35th. At Dover, Larson started 23rd and spent five laps a lap down before getting the free pass on lap 120. He led the race with less than 50 laps to go and was chasing down the leader Matt Kenseth during the final laps, but couldn't take the advantage of Kenseth's mistakes and finished second. Afterward, Larson stated, "Matt Kenseth, in my eyes is the cleanest racer out there. I didn't want to drive him dirty because he always races me clean. Looking back, I'd do stuff different but my time is coming." At the Sprint Showdown, Larson battled with Chase Elliott for the win in the final segment. While the two made contact as they approached the start/finish line, Larson beat Elliott to lock himself into the All-Star Race. In the All-Star Race, Larson took the lead on the final restart, but was caught by Joey Logano and hit the wall with two laps to go and finished 16th. At the 2016 Pure Michigan 400, Larson won his first ever Sprint Cup Series race, holding off Chase Elliott. The win also qualified him into the Chase for the first time. In his first Chase appearance, Larson finished 18th at Chicagoland and finished 10th at New Hampshire. He was eliminated from the Round of 16 after a 25th-place finish at Dover. At Homestead, Larson finished second to Jimmie Johnson.
In 2017, Larson took the lead late in the Daytona 500 only to run out of gas on the final lap and finished 12th. At Atlanta, Larson finished 2nd to Brad Keselowski. He would go on to finish second in the next two races at Las Vegas and Phoenix, which allowed him to take the points lead for the first time in his career. Larson earned his second career Cup Series win at the Auto Club 400 after starting from the pole, furthering his points lead. A 17th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway hurt him, but he still maintained a four-point lead over Chase Elliott. In the 2017 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Larson rebounded from struggles early to finish second.
At Michigan International Speedway, Larson picked up his third career pole and then he led 96 laps to get his third career win, holding off Chase Elliott. At the Kentucky race, Larson started at the rear of the field after he was unable to set a qualifying time as he was stuck in an inspection. He finished second to Martin Truex Jr., but lost his points lead when he was penalized 35 points for an improper rear brake cooling assembly; crew chief Chad Johnston was suspended for three races and Tony Lunders took his place. A week later, Larson won the pole at Loudon's Overton's 301, but was forced to surrender it to Truex after failing post-qualifying inspection for an unapproved rear deck fin lid. He finished second in the event after starting 39th. Larson earned his fourth career win at Michigan after making a four-wide pass for the lead with two laps to go. Larson earned his fifth career win at Richmond (and his first win that is not a two-mile track) in the final race of the regular season.
Larson would enter the Playoffs as the second seed tied for the most wins in the regular season with four. During the Playoffs, Larson was able to easily get to the round of 12 after scoring Top 5 finishes at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. Unfortunately, Larson would end up being eliminated after the Round of 12 after blowing an engine at Kansas, resulting in a dismal 39th-place finish. He would struggle after being eliminated, finishing 37th at Martinsville and Texas, both due to crashes, and a last place finish at Phoenix from an expired engine. Larson finished third at Homestead and would finish eighth in the standings. On November 29, Larson was named the Mobil 1 Driver of the Year.
Despite not winning a race throughout the 2018 season, Larson made it to the Playoffs by staying consistent with five second-place finishes, eight Top 5’s, and 13 Top 10’s. Larson started the Playoffs with his sixth runner-up finish of the season to Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas. At the Charlotte Roval race, Larson was involved in a multi-car wreck on a late restart that also included playoff contenders Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Larson's heavily damaged No. 42 car took advantage of Jeffrey Earnhardt being spun out by Daniel Hemric on the final lap and limped across the finish line in 25th place, securing him in the top 12. He experienced further bad luck at the Talladega fall race when he blew a right front tire and spun out on lap 105. He finished 11th in the race but was docked 10 driver and 10 owner points after the team violated the damaged vehicle policy by using metal tabs instead of fasteners and/or tape to repair the torn right front fender. Larson was eliminated from the Round of 12 after the Kansas fall race despite finishing third. He finished 13th at Homestead and will end up ninth in the points standings, the highest of the winless drivers in 2018 along with a third consecutive Top 10 points finish.
Before the start of the 2019 season, Larson lost his primary sponsor DC Solar, whose headquarters had been raided by the FBI. Larson started out the season with a 7th-place finish at Daytona, his first top 10 of the year. On February 19, 2019, McDonald's will serve as a primary sponsor for Kyle Larson throughout the 2019 season. At Atlanta, Larson led over 100 laps before being tagged for speeding on pit road; sending him to the back of the field and finished 12th. On February 26, 2019, Larson sparked controversy on the NBC Sports segment Splash & Go! with host Rick Allen when he jokingly implied that Hendrick Motorsports starts "cheating and finding some speed" a couple of months into the start of a season. He later apologized to Rick Hendrick for his comments. At the GEICO 500 at Talladega, Larson was involved in a major accident on the final lap, resulting his car going airborne and rolling over multiple times. He was uninjured and was credited with a 24th-place finish.
On May 18, Larson became only the third driver to win both the Monster Energy Open and the All-Star Race. Larson won the pole at Sonoma for the third straight year and finished 10th in the race. A week later at Chicagoland, Larson finished second after getting passed by Alex Bowman for the lead with six laps to go. After a second-place finish at Darlington, Larson clinched his spot in the playoffs for the fourth straight year despite no wins. He finished 13th at the Charlotte Roval to advance to the Round of 12.
At Dover, Larson started second and went on to score his sixth career win, ending his 75-race winless streak. The win also locked him into the Round of 8 for the first time. Larson finished 39th at Talladega after getting involved in a big crash on lap 108 that left him with a fractured lower rib. He finished 14th at Kansas. Despite finishing 4th at Phoenix, he was eliminated in the Round of 8. At Homestead, Larson finished 40th after suffering an engine failure on lap 209. He ended up sixth in the final points standings, his career-best to date.
2020 and suspension
Larson began the 2020 season with a tenth-place finish in the Daytona 500. During the Auto Club 400, Larson hit the turn one wall after Denny Hamlin collided with him, relegating him to a 21st-place finish. When the season was placed on hold after four races due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Larson was seventh in the point standings with top-ten finishes in three.
On April 13, CGR suspended Larson indefinitely without pay after it became known that during an iRacing event the day before, Larson stated: "You can't hear me? Hey, nigger," believing he had lost communication. Shortly after Ganassi's announcement, NASCAR also suspended him indefinitely and ordered him to complete sensitivity training before he is allowed to race again. Larson would also be suspended by the World of Outlaws, but had that suspension lifted prior to their return to racing. Multiple corporations such as McDonald's, Credit One Bank, and Chevrolet also terminated their sponsorship of Larson. The following day, CGR fired Larson. Matt Kenseth took over as Larson's replacement in the No. 42. As of September 2020, Larson remains suspended from NASCAR. However, Tony Stewart has said that if he passes reinstatement, he may hire Larson to drive for the team.
In October 2020, after months of inactivity on social media, Larson posted an essay on his website, apologizing for using the slur and denying that it was representative of who he was. In the statement, Larson said that when racing overseas he encountered people who uttered the slur on a regular basis. He accepted accountability for his actions, including his suspension and dismissal from CGR, and said that although he finished the sensitivity training, he did more than what was required of him to change his behavior; for instance, he visited Minnesota days after George Floyd was killed and participated in a variety of classes to learn more on the African-American community. Larson also said that he hopes his setback "was a lesson for everyone," and was in the process of seeking reinstatement to the Cup Series. On October 17th 2020 it was reported that Larson officially applied for reinstatement. His application was successful, and can return on January 1, 2021.
On January 4, 2014, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Larson would enter the 24 Hours of Daytona, driving the No. 02 car alongside Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Marino Franchitti. During the press conference, Larson stated, "You grow up watching the NASCAR guys then you're like, ‘wow’ when you meet them. And then watching the guys in different series there's a 'wow' factor to meeting them and working with them." In his Rolex 24 debut, Larson's car stalled and received a speeding penalty, but finished his stint with a fifth-place finish.
Larson returned to the No. 02 Ford Daytona Prototype for the 2015 event, along with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates from IndyCar Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan and NASCAR Jamie McMurray. The team ultimately won the race.
In 2016, Larson once again returned for the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Ford EcoBoost Daytona Prototype, only set to run for one race in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Chip Ganassi Racing. The team consisted of the same drivers from the 2015 winning car, but ran into issues with brake failures plaguing the team throughout the race.
On January 18, 2020, Larson won his first Chili Bowl, a crown jewel of dirt track racing. After his suspension and subsequent reinstatement to the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Larson raced in the series beginning in the spring. His first race was on May 8 at Knoxville Raceway, where he started 18th and finished 10th. Two weeks later at Federated Auto Parts Raceway, Larson set a qualifying lap time of 9.995 seconds, the first sub-ten-second time in track history. After finishing second to brother-in-law Brad Sweet in the Friday feature, he held off Brent Marks and Sweet in the Saturday event to score his first World of Outlaws victory since his NASCAR suspension. Larson joined the USAC series for the 2020 Indiana Midget Week in June. Kyle went on to take first place in all six events in the Hoosier state, winning the title. Larson continued to win in nine straight sprint car features. Larson competed for the full Pennsylvania Speedweek for 410 Sprint cars. He won the event at Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night after passing Freddie Rahmer with 2 laps remaining. Larson picked up his second win of the week on Thursday after leading the entire race at Hagerstown. On Friday, Larson raced to his first win at Williams Grove (and 17th of the year). The following night, he won again at the final event at Port Royal. Larson won the PA Speedweek title with four wins and three podiums. Larson began running All Star Circuit of Champions races and he won the series record seventh consecutive race at Knoxville Raceway on August 1, 2020. On October 18, he won the USAC Silvercrown finale at the Springfield Mile to take his 42nd feature win in various racing vehicles.
In popular media
Larson's mother is Japanese American and her parents spent time in a Japanese internment camp. Larson's wife is Katelyn Sweet, the sister of World Of Outlaw sprint driver and NASCAR driver Brad Sweet. Larson announced on June 13, 2014 that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child. On July 16, 2014, Larson announced that the baby was a boy. Owen Miyata Larson was born on December 22, 2014. On November 8, 2017, Larson announced on social media that he and Katelyn were expecting a second child, due in May 2018. Audrey Layne Larson was born on May 7, 2018. On December 22, 2017, Larson and Sweet became engaged and they got married on September 26, 2018.
Larson owns a World of Outlaws sprint car team that fields a car for Carson Macedo. He drives for his own team (midgets) and Paul Silva (winged sprint car) on a limited schedule.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led. ** – All laps led.)
|2014||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||16||38|
Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
|NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series results|
|2013||Turner Scott Motorsports||30||DAY||MAR||CAR
K&N Pro Series East
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series East results|
K&N Pro Series West
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series West results|
|2014||Turner Scott Motorsports||42||Chevy||PHO||IRW||S99||IOW||KCR||SON
* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points
ARCA Racing Series
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
|ARCA Racing Series results|
|2012||Eddie Sharp Racing||6||Chevy||DAY||MOB||SLM||TAL||TOL||ELK||POC||MCH
|2013||Turner Scott Motorsports||4||Chevy||DAY
Complete WeatherTech SportsCar Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2014||Chip Ganassi Racing||P||Ford EcoBoost Riley DP||Ford Ecoboost 3.5 L V6 Turbo||DAY
24 Hours of Daytona
|24 Hours of Daytona results|
|2014||P||02||Chip Ganassi Racing||Ford Riley DP|| Scott Dixon
|667||15 DNF||8 DNF|||
|2015||P||02|| Scott Dixon
|2016||P||02|| Scott Dixon
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| NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion
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