No. 24 Kyle Larson
Photo by CANDID1PHOTO / Flickr.com
Kyle Larson will be one of eight drivers running for Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.
By Dominic Aragón
January 14, 2014
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Kyle Larson’s rookie season will show signs of promise with a team that continues to rebuild.
In his Sprint Cup Series debut in 2013 for Phoenix Racing, Kyle Larson ran inside the top-15 for much of the night at Charlotte Motor Speedway before the engine expired. In his other three starts, Larson managed a best of 15th at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The rookie sensation arguably has the pressure from his fans to produce results in his first full-time year. But the driver will still have to have a learning curve in 2014.
Larson showed speed in both the Nationwide and Cup Series on intermediate racetracks, and exceptional showings on short tracks on the Nationwide tour. In 2014, expectations for Larson can include strong runs at those types of racetracks.
Although the competition in the Cup Series is significantly finely-tuned compared to the Nationwide Series on a competition standpoint, Larson will still show promising runs among the sport’s icons this season. Ganassi Racing’s continues alliance with Hendrick Motorsports will serve as a vital tool for Larson and teammate Jamie McMurray, as equipment sharing will enable both drivers to keep running in the top half of the field.
The 2014 rookie class in the Cup Series might arguably be the most competitive class in over seven seasons, with eight drivers officially announced to run as full-time rookies.
While a Chase berth might be difficult for the California native, Larson may challenge for top-10 finishes sporadically, and it is likely Larson will be towards the top, if not the top rookie, in the Rookie of the Year standings when the season is all said and done.
Stats provided by racing-reference.info