Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson 2015 Season Driver Preview

Last year's Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year has his sights set on making the Chase in 2015
Kyle Larson 2015 Season Driver Preview

A year ago, there were a lot of questions about Kyle Larson’s readiness and ability. Was he too young, at age 21, to drive in Sprint Cup? Did his track record — he was winless in the Nationwide Series — warrant a promotion? Was owner Chip Ganassi being too aggressive bumping veteran Juan Pablo Montoya, especially considering that his top prospect didn’t even sit in a stock car until 2012?

 

Hamlin, Harvick, Logano and Newman to settle NASCAR Chase in Homestead

Through the Gears: The four things we learned in Phoenix
Post-race reaction from the NASCAR SPrint CUp race in Phoenix, where Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano will advance for next week's final showdown.

Twenty-four hours after NASCAR’s Phoenix finish, the landscape within the sport is buzzing with more diverse opinions than we’ve heard in any recent election. On one side sits a growing chorus of voices claiming this new format is the best decision CEO Brian France ever made, a life-saving choice for stock car racing that turns the tide for NASCAR after years of steady decline.

Celebrating Athlon's NASCAR Rookie of the Year: Kyle Larson

Larson's first-year stats on par with great rookies of the past
Celebrating a spectacular rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by Kyle Larson.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David celebrates the 2014 Athlon Sports NASCAR Rookie of the Year, Kyle Larson.

 

 

NASCAR Rookie Report: Kyle Larson the obvious ROY titlist

David Smith ranks the eight-driver 2014 Rookie of the Year crop
David Smith ranks the eight-driver NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2014 Rookie of the Year crop

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David attempts to isolate each rookie from his team and equipment and properly rank the driving chops of each member of this year’s rookie class.

 

 

Earnhardt, Hendrick score emotional win at Martinsville

Through the Gears: The four things we learned in Martinsville
Post-race reaction from NASCAR's Chase race at Martinsville Speedway.

Ten years. That’s how long since the Hendrick Motorsports plane crash, near Martinsville, which took the lives of 10 innocent victims. Among them were owner Rick Hendrick’s son, Ricky, and brother John; nieces Kimberly and Jennifer, engine builder Randy Dorton, Hendrick GM Jeff Turner, a DuPont executive and three pilots, two of which were at the controls. It was a tragedy that devastated the four-car organization, whose driver Jimmie Johnson won the race without knowing the darkness that unfolded in the hills behind the racetrack. 

 

NASCAR Chase Report: Previewing race No. 7 in Martinsville

Pretenders, contenders and potential winners as NASCAR's Chase hits Martinsville
Pretenders, contenders and potential winners as NASCAR's Chase hits Martinsville

The one thing the 2.66-mile behemoth that is Talladega Superspeedway and the half-mile paperclip that is Martinsville Speedway have in common is the reversal of fortunes each potentially delivers. After raising the ire of fans and the garage (Matt Kenseth, in particular) alike two weeks ago in Charlotte, Brad Keselowski faced virtually no other option but to pull a Jake Taylor in Major League and win the whole f___in’ thing at Talladega. Keselowski did just that — which was no small task — in rather dramatic fashion.

NASCAR Rookie Report: Ranking the six remaining Cup Series ROY candidates

David Smith analyzes the rookie crop following a harrowing weekend in Talladega
David Smith ranks the six-driver field in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' rookie of the year race.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David attempts to isolate each rookie from his team and equipment and properly rank the driving chops of each member of this year’s rookie class.

 

 

Penske teamwork results in clutch win for Keselowski at Talladega

Through the Gears: The four things we learned at Talladega
Post-race reaction from Brad Keselowski's win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Multi-car teams working together: it’s a modern NASCAR philosophy that began in the 1980s, failed miserably, and was redefined during the 1990s by Hendrick Motorsports. Built with Jeff Gordon, massaged by Terry Labonte and perfected by Jimmie Johnson, the organization has won 11 championships based on multiple cars sharing information, turning from rivals on the racetrack into individuals openly helping one another.

Will conservative race strategy pay off for NASCAR's Chasers in Dover?

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Dover International Speedway
Each week, Geoffrey Miller's "Five Things to Watch" will help you catch up on the biggest stories on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' upcoming race weekend. This week, the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup hits its first elimination race at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson's chance to shine, conservative race strategy, Joey Logano's contract extension and Kasey Kahne's season on a brink highlight the storylines heading into the AAA 500.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller's "Five Things to Watch" will help you catch up on the biggest stories on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' upcoming race weekend. This week, the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup hits its first elimination race at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson's chance to shine, conservative race strategy, Joey Logano's contract extension and Kasey Kahne's season on a brink highlight the storylines heading into the AAA 500.

 

 

Dover will welcome Jimmie Johnson to the Chase spotlight

NASCAR Chase Report: Previewing Race No. 3 in Dover

Pretenders, contenders and potential winners as NASCAR's Chase moves to the high banks of Dover
Contenders, pretenders and predicted winners for the third race of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup, the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Ted Nugent likely would refer to the third track of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup as “the concrete jungle hell-zone.” And honestly, that’s exactly what Dover is — an oversized Bristol with corners akin to the white cliffs of the same name that fall away into the abyss, only to shoot cars up onto a straightaway with what feels like an off-camber turn.

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