Kyle Larson is one of the most perspective young drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. The current Chip Ganassi Racing's driver debuted in the premier NASCAR series in 2013, winning the Rookie of the Year honor in 2014. He captured the first Cup Series win in 2016 at Michigan International Speedway.
Before entering Cup Series, he was also the Rookie of the Year in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series and a champion in the 2012 NASCAR K&N Series East. Larson also participated at Daytona 24 Hours three times, winning the race in 2015 as a member of the Chip Ganassi's team.
Kyle started racing at the age of seven
Kyle Miyata Larson was born on July 31, 1992, in Elk Grove, California. Kyle's mother is a Japanese American so he was also categorized as the Asian-American driver and participant of the Drive for Diversity program. As a young boy, Kyle attended racing events with his parents, trying to compete for the first time at the age of 7 in the outlaw kart competition.
As a teenager, Kyle raced with the midgets and sprint cars, gaining his biggest success in 2011, when he was third in the standings of the USAC National Silver Crown Championship and third in the standings of the USAC National Midget Series. In both competitions, he was driving for the Keith Kunz Motorsports. He also won the 2011 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, winning in all three types of USAC cars in a single night, he was the second driver in history who achieved that.
Victory in the first stock car race
For the 2012 season, Larson was signed as a part of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's driver development program. He debuted in the full-bodied stock car at Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom at New Smyrna Speedway in February 2012 and he won that race.
During the 2012 season, Larson had a diverse schedule of races as he also competed for full seasons in the World of Outlaws Sprintcar series and USAC National Midget Series. In June, he debuted in ARCA Series, driving Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing at Michigan International Speedway and he finished 13th.
Victorious season in the K&N Series East
As a part of EGR's development program, Larson was sent to compete for a full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He was driving the #6 Revolution Racing Toyota. In 14 races, Larson won two times and he became not only the Rookie of the Year but also the series' champion.
On June 28, 2012, Larson debuted in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, competing in the UNOH 225 race at Kentucky Speedway with Turner Motorsports' #4 Chevrolet. He scored top 10 finish in his NASCAR national series debut and later, in other races he was even better. He was sixth in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway and then second in November at Phoenix International Raceway.
Rookie of the Year in the 2013 Nationwide Series
In 2013, Larson signed with Turner Scott Motorsports to drive the #32 Chevrolet for the full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In his debuting NASCAR season, Larson scored nine Top 5 finishes, including four finishes as the runner-up. At the end of the season, he was eighth in the points and rewarded as the Rookie of the Year.
Maiden NASCAR victory in the Truck Series
Larson missed wins in his debut Nationwide Series season, but he scored his maiden NASCAR win in the Truck Series. On April 14, 2013, he won at Rockingham Speedway in the Turner Scott Motorsports' #30 Chevrolet. He participated in one more race, scoring the second place at Eldora Speedway.
In August 2013, it was announced that Kyle Larson would join the Chip Ganassi Racing for 2014 Sprint Cup Series season, as a replacement for Juan Pablo Montoya in the #42 Chevrolet. As a preparation for his rookie Sprint Cup season, he debuted in the NASCAR premium series in October 2013 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the #51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing. By the end of the season, he participated in three more races with that car.
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year with Chip Ganassi Racing
The season of 2014 started with Kyle's debut at 24 hours of Daytona, together with other Chip Ganassi's drivers in the #02 Riley-Ford prototype. Larson's co-drivers were Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Marino Franchitti. They didn't finish the race.
In the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Kyle Larson finished 17th in the points and became the Rookie of the Year. The season didn't start good, as he crashed twice at Daytona 500, finishing 38th. He scored a sensational second place in the Auto Club 400 at Fontana. He repeated the second-place finishes two more times, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
Two wins in the 2014 Nationwide Series
While Larson was close to his maiden victory in the Sprint Cup, he succeeded to win in the Nationwide Series, not once but twice. He was driving the #42 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports and scored his first Nationwide win at Auto Club Speedway in March. Two months later, he won again, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He participated in 28 Nationwide Series races, scoring Top 5 finish fourteen times. During 2014, Larson also participated in three races of the Truck Series and he finished the race in second place at Homestead-Miami.
Daytona 24h victory for Kyle and CGR teammates
The 2015 season started with a sensational victory at 24 hours of Daytona. Chip Ganassi put two NASCAR drivers and two IndyCar drivers into #02 Riley-Ford and they won the race. The members of the crew were Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan.
In the 2015 Sprint Cup season, Kyle's results weren't so good as in the debut season. The season started again with the crash at Daytona 500. Later that year, he scored only two Top 5 finishes (3rd at Dover and 5th at Homestead-Miami) and ended 19th in the final classification. He missed one race, in spring at Martinsville because he was hospitalized after fainting during an autograph session. He was diagnosed with dehydration.
One more Nationwide Series win in 2015
In the 2015 Xfinity Series, Larson participated in 14 races with HScott Motorsports' #42 Chevrolet, winning the season-closing race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was his third win in the series and fourth NASCAR win in a career. In the 2015 Truck Series, he appeared only once, driving the #00 JR Motorsports' Chevy at Chicagoland and finishing seventh.
In 2016, the first race of the season was Daytona 24h again. The crew in the #02 Riley-Ford was the same as in 2015: Larson/McMurray/Dixon/Kanaan. They finished 13th overall.
2016 - victories in all three NASCAR national series
The season 2016 was a milestone year for Larson as he scored victories in all three NASCAR national series. On June 4, he won at Pocono Raceway in the Xfinity Series race with Chip Ganassi Racing's #42 Chevrolet. On July 20, the Truck Series victory at Eldora Speedway followed, with GMS Racing's #24 Chevrolet.
Larson entered the Chase for the first time
And then, on August 28 at Michigan International Speedway, Larson scored his maiden Sprint Cup victory. After leading for 41 out of 200 laps, he won the Pure Michigan 400 ahead of Chase Elliott and secured the participation in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the first time. Besides this victory, Larson scored five more Top 5 finishes in the regular season.
The team owner since 2013
Kyle Larson is also a team co-owner, together with a fellow racing driver Justin Marks. In 2013, they decided to convert their love to winged sprint cars into the formation of the racing team which is why the Larson Marks Racing was founded. With a championship-winning driver Shane Stewart, the team competes in the World of Outlaws championship.
When it comes to his private life, Kyle is dating Katelyn Sweet, the sister of the NASCAR driver Brad Sweet. On December 22, 2014, their son, Owen Miyata Larson, was born.