After his win Sunday night, Kyle Larson tied a predecessor in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports ride on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Larson led the final 55 laps and notched his first Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway. In the Southern 500, no less.
“I’m happy to win a crown jewel, a place that we’ve been close to winning at, a place that we both have wanted to win at for a very long time,” said Larson.
Before Sunday, Larson had finished second three times at Darlington. The breakthrough win came at the right time, though.
Kyle Larson tied Terry Labonte on the all-time Cup wins list at 22 wins.
20 years before, Labonte also earned his 22nd win in a No. 5 car on Labor Day weekend at Darlington.
That ended up being the two-time Cup champion’s final win.
Larson and Labonte each drove the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy to a championship. Labonte won in 1996 and Larson in 2021.
Larson has earned 16 Cup victories for HMS while Labonte earned 12.
Labonte raced for Hendrick full-time from 1994-2004 with partial schedules in 2005 and 2006.
The two drivers are tied for 37th on the all-time wins list.
Ahead of Labonte and Larson are: Ricky Rudd – 23, Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly – 25 (tied), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Fred Lorenzen – 26 (tied).
Larson still has a couple more crown jewel wins to cross off, though.
“…I think the only two I don’t have would be the (Daytona) 500 and maybe the Brickyard 400 if it comes back to the oval. Yeah, you always want to win the big ones, but really just winning a race, it feels good.”
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.