Kyle Larson has at least two more seasons at Hendrick Motorsports.
It's not a surprise that Hendrick would want to keep this season's winningest driver around for a couple more seasons. And the team's announcement that Larson has been signed through 2023 also came with an announcement that team owner Rick Hendrick's automotive group would be Larson's primary sponsor.
The Hendrick Automotive Group will sponsor Larson in 35 of 38 Cup Series races (including the All-Star Race and preseason Clash) in each of the next two seasons. Larson has had Hendrick Cars sponsorship through most of the 2021 season and Hendrick said in a statement that the company had reaped the benefits of Larson's success. Larson has four wins and is second in the points standings.
“When we perform on the track on Sunday, we can feel the impact on Monday,” Hendrick said in a statement. “With the chance to plan for the next two years, the program is only going to help Hendrick Automotive Group sell more cars, book more service appointments and ultimately do more business. It will also allow our company to recruit talented people and support our internal recognition and incentive programs. The more we followed the data, the easier the decision became. We are seeing clear results.”
Larson signed with Hendrick in October
Larson was set to be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season even before he was fired four races into 2020 after saying a racial slur over the radio during a virtual race. Larson sat out the rest of the Cup Series season after he was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and signed with Hendrick for 2021 in October.
The team was looking for a driver after Jimmie Johnson's retirement, and Larson was the best driver available. His agreement with Hendrick came after he had done interviews with multiple outlets explaining how he had learned from the incident that got him fired and how he had grown as a person.
He immediately started winning races when he got to Hendrick. He won the fourth race of the 2021 season and then won four consecutive races counting the All-Star Race from the second half of May to the first half of June.
Larson's 32 playoff points through 21 races are 13 more than any other driver. No matter what happens over the final five races of the regular season, Larson will enter NASCAR's 10-race postseason as a championship favorite.
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