After not being able to even race last years finale in Phoenix, Kyle Larson returned in 2021 to win 10 races along with the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Larson becomes the 35th driver to win a title in NASCAR’s premier series.
“I cannot believe it. I didn’t think I'd be racing a Cup car a year and a half ago," said Larson. "To win a championship is crazy, there were so many points in this race where I did not think that we were gonna win, and without my pit crew on that last stop we would not be standing right here. I’m just blessed to be a part of this group.”
“I had a lot of thoughts,” he added. “A lot of thoughts through this last, really since right before intros, it all hit me and I had tears running down my face, just doing the truck ride-around. The crowd was cheering loud and it was just a different atmosphere than I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad we were able to get it done.”
He does so after spending much of the 2020 season indefinitely suspended by NASCAR following his use of a racial slur during an April 2020 e-sports event.
During that period, Larson spent time working to make amends and to mature personally. He also received a second chance to restart his NASCAR career when Hendrick Motorsports signed him to be their driver of the revived No. 5 car.
Larson crossed the line ahead of teammate Chase Elliott, who won the Cup Series Championship in 2020 and whose father, Bill Elliott, is a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Elliott drives a No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, the same car number as his father.
Hendrick Motorsports was up against Joe Gibbs Racing in the final, with Denny Hamlin, the longest-tenured driver at Joe Gibbs Racing driving the team's No. 11 Toyota.
Congrats to Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports on winning the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chris Estrada shares the recap from NBC Sports:
Gary Gastelu at Fox News shares his take:
NASCAR.com gives a full rundown:
Give a few minutes to see what Michelle Martinelli of USA Today said: