In 2014, Kyle Larson came into the NASCAR Cup Series with high expectations and when 2017 turned out to be his much-anticipated breakthrough year, many wondered about what greatness he was about to achieve.
While 2018 and 2019 haven’t been the flashy years that many were expecting, Larson has led 500+ laps, made the Playoffs and set some good marks in each season.
Despite going winless in 2018, Larson scored his best career season average finish of 12.6. In 2019, Larson finished a snapped a two-year winless streak at Dover in the Playoffs and finished a career-high sixth in points.
Coming into 2020, with the new Chevrolet nose expected to help the manufacturer’s performance, the potential is high for Larson to have the resources available to match his talent.
No matter how well the new nose works, I expect Larson to be a contender for wins at Auto Club, Bristol and Homestead. Even if he doesn’t win, I anticipate Larson will be a lock for the Playoffs with quietly good consistency.
Once in the Playoffs, the first two rounds feature successful tracks for him, such as Darlington, Bristol, Richmond, Las Vegas and Charlotte Roval, so getting into the round of 8 should be no problem.
If he can overcome bad luck at Texas and Martinsville and continue his success at Kansas, then we could see Larson be a Championship Four contender in Phoenix.
Larson has the talent to win the Cup title, but getting all other factors line-up right remains the crucial part of his success. If everything lines up right in 2020, Larson will be a prime championship contender.