Many racers in the United States would consider their careers successes if they got to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. For Kyle Larson, however, becoming a front-runner at the Cup level essentially is just a means to an end.
Larson recently revealed that, although he set his sights on NASCAR’s premier series from a young age, he really has his heart set on ultimately running a full schedule in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, according to NBC Sports. The 25-year-old talked about his dirt-racing aspirations on the official WoO podcast ahead of his family’s trip to New Zealand.
Chip Ganassi has allowed Larson to regularly compete in sprint car events outside NASCAR race weekends — and occasionally during them. The Elk Grove, Calif., native even gave his friend, Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., his first win as a WoO team owner in 2017.
“NASCAR is where I wanted to make it, but I would have been perfectly fine if I didn’t make it either,” Larson said. “I’d probably be on the Outlaw tour probably right now, racing and loving life … I would say racing on the World of Outlaws tour full-time is my main goal; NASCAR’s just the step to get there.”
The potential lucrativeness of a career in stock car racing admittedly factored into Larson’s decision to climb the NASCAR ranks, though so too did his love of the sport.
“As everybody knows, there’s a lot of money in the sport, and you know you can make a good living,” Larson said, via NBC Sports. “So yeah, I wanted to make it to NASCAR. So throughout the 2011 season I had opportunities to go Indy Lights racing and stuff like that, but I just wasn’t into that. I grew up watching Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and you wanted to race with them.”
Although Larson has yet to emulate Stewart and Gordon by winning a championship, his form throughout the 2017 season suggest his first title isn’t far off.
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