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Larson returns to NASCAR with Hendrick Motorsports

By Nick Lewis

Photo by Isabel Gonzalez/The Racing Experts

Hendrick Motorsports announced this morning the signing of Kyle Larson to a multi-year deal to join the team at the beginning of the 2021 season.

The organization also announced that Larson will be driving the No. 5 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE which hasn’t been driven since Kasey Kahne was with the organization in 2017. With the retirement of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson at the end of the season, Hendrick Motorsports decided to tap Cliff Daniels as Larson’s crew chief next season.

“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.

“He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program. More importantly, I have full confidence that he understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR.”

Larson who was suspended due to saying a racial slur in an iRacing event during the COVID-19 pandemic, is eligible to resume NASCAR activities at the beginning of the new year after being reinstated.

Hendrick continued to say that he and Larson had conversations before the announcement and Hendrick is supporting the work Larson has done and will continue to do.

Kyle Larson walks during driver introductions for the 2018 Pocono 400. (Tyler Head | The Racing Experts)
Photo by Tyler Head/The Racing Experts

Larson said that Hendrick was one of the people who reached out to him after his incident and that Hendrick wants to see Larson succeed beyond driving.

“Hendrick Motorsports is a championship organization that has set a high bar for performance and for how its drivers represent the team and its partners,” Larson said.

“My goal is to win races, be a great teammate, continue my personal efforts to grow, and hold myself to that high standard personally and professionally. Making the absolute most of this platform and the opportunity in front of me is my focus. I know what’s expected of me and what I expect of myself, on and off the track.

In his NASCAR career, Larson has won 20 races across the three national series including six Cup Series wins four of which came in 2017. Larson has qualified for the playoffs in four of his six full time Cup series seasons and he joins an organization that had three of its four cars qualify for the playoffs.

Larson joins Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and William Byron as teammates under the Hendrick Motorsports banner. The average age of Hendricks new driver lineup is 26 years old once the 2021 season starts. Hendrick is hoping that this lineup can help build another dynasty at HMS.

“I’m excited about our roster of young talent,” Hendrick said. “We have a team that is built to win races and compete for championships for years to come.”

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