If you haven’t watched a NASCAR race lately, you could be missing the emergence of a legend in the making.
Kyle Larson is that good.
And it’s not just fans, media and other observers with a vested interest in finding a new superstar for a sport with flagging TV ratings who are saying so. In this case, it’s a fellow driver, former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, paying Larson one of the highest compliments possible.
“Kyle Larson is the best driver to come into this sport since Jeff Gordon, in my opinion,” Harvick said on his show “Happy Hours” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I think Kyle Larson is that good. He’s just a kid not enough people know about, but he’s won and wins in everything he’s ever driven.
“He’s just a racer.”
Larson scored his first win of 2017 and second win of his career Sunday at Auto Club Speedway after being in position to win pretty much every race so far this season. And though many excellent drivers — Harvick included — have come into the sport since Gordon arrived in 1993, few have been as aggressive or versatile from the get-go as Larson, who has competed for wins on everything from superspeedways to short tracks.
The future is bright for the 24-year-old who, for now, drives for Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I hope Ganassi has a good contract with him,” Harvick said, “because every team in the garage wants a Kyle Larson. He’s a guy you can put in your race cars and win races. Even on a day when they’re not the best race cars, he’s going to make them look good.”
For all his talent, however, Larson has a long way to go to live up to the comparison to Gordon, who won four Cup championships, three Daytona 500s and 93 races over 23 full-time seasons. But in Harvick’s eyes, it’s only a matter of time.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images