|credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Sarah Crabill|
Kyle Larson burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2012, winning the K&N Pro Series East title in his first season in stock cars. The NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate is now in his third full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series and is the subject of this week’s, Fast Facts, originally published in Dec. 2012.
- Kyle Miyata Larson was born July 31, 1992 in Sacramento, California. Because Larson’s mother, Janet, is Japanese-American, he was eligible to participate in the D4D program.
- Larson’s background is in open-wheel racing, getting started in outlaw karts at age seven. As a teen, Larson competed in both USAC (midget, sprint car and Silver Crown divisions) and World of Outlaws sprint cars. In 2011, Larson became the second driver to sweep all three USAC divisions at Eldora Speedway’s 4-Crown Nationals (Jack Hewitt was the other, in 1998). In 2012, Larson won the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Perris Auto Speedway in California, one of six USAC Midget races he won that year.
- Larson signed as a development driver at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing early in 2012, and made his stock car debut at New Smyrna Speedway in February of that year, leading just one lap in his first race – the last one, giving him a win in his first start. As a member of D4D, Larson competed for Rev Racing in the K&N Pro Series East, earning his first win at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia in his sixth race. He recorded two wins and 12 top 10s in 14 races on his way to the title, and was also named Rookie of the Year in the series.
- Larson also made his ARCA Racing Series debut in 2012, finishing 13th at Michigan for Eddie Sharp Racing, and made his Camping World Truck Series debut at Kentucky for Turner Motorsports. In four Truck Series races, Larson earned three top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at Phoenix after leading 43 laps; in his final race at Homestead-Miami, he led 48 laps and was battling for the lead when involved in accident with less than 10 laps to go.
- Larson moved into the Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series in 2013, where he won the Rookie of the Year Award and became the first D4D graduate to win the award in a NASCAR national touring series. For 2014, Larson replaced Juan Pablo Montoya in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 in the Sprint Cup Series and picked up the Cup Series Rookie of the Year Award.
- Through the 2015 season, Larson has one win and seven top 10 finishes in the Truck Series, three wins and 47 top 10s in the Xfinity Series and 27 top 10 finishes in the Cup Series.
- Larson competed twice in the 24 Hours of Daytona with a group of Ganassi drivers, taking the overall win in 2015 with Jamie McMurray, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan.
- Larson and his girlfriend, Katelyn Sweet (sister of driver Brad Sweet), are parents of Owen Miyata Larson, who was born Dec. 22, 2014.
- Find out more at Larson at his website, www.kylelarsonracing.com.