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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Larson’s love of dirt racing turns off some fans

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, walks to his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Larson’s love of dirt racing has gotten him in trouble with some vocal fans on social media, again. During a question-and-answer on Twitter (@KyleLarsonRacin) on June 18, Larson told a participant that he’d be racing full-time in the World of Outlaws “Before I’m 40.”

Although Larson will celebrate only his 26th birthday next month, leaving more than 14 years until he turns 40, several NASCAR fans on social media accused him of not loving NASCAR enough, and some encouraged him to just go ahead and leave NASCAR if he didn’t care about it that much.

Larson did damage control at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway on Friday, insisting that he loves NASCAR, too, and pointed out that he’ll be around in the NASCAR garage for a long time before turning 40.

“I think some people aren’t quite as open-minded, maybe,” Larson said. “It’s like they read it as if I said in two years from now I wanted to do it. I mean, 15 years from now that would put me 20 years in Cup, so that’s a long time. I think Jeff Gordon spent about that much time in the sport, but I don’t know; maybe I don’t do the best job in the world of talking about how much I love NASCAR as much as I do sprint cars, but I do. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love NASCAR racing.”

Gordon logged 23 full-time seasons at NASCAR’s top level before retiring at the end of the 2015 season.

Larson also expressed a desire for racing fans to embrace multiple forms of racing.

“I just want fans to be fans of motorsports, not just NASCAR and not just sprint cars,” Larson said. “I would like to see everybody just enjoy all of racing, and I think that’s what I do. Maybe I don’t do a good job at it sometimes, but I enjoy racing all types of vehicles. Most fans get it, but some fans aren’t quite open-minded enough.”

Larson also caused a stir in January when he ranked the Chili Bowl yearly dirt midget race in Tulsa, Okla., higher than the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest race, during an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

“The Chili Bowl is, gosh, like I said, it’s up there with the top races I want to win,” Larson said. “Everybody knows I love dirt-track racing. For me, the Chili Bowl is bigger than the Daytona 500. I know some fans, that might bum them out or think I have some bad attitude when it comes to NASCAR racing, but I love it. There’s some special dirt races I want to win and Chili Bowl is one of them.”

Larson later clarified that statement with a tweet, expressing his desire to also win the Daytona 500.

“Doesn’t mean I don’t want to win Daytona 500,” He tweeted. “I was a half lap from winning last year. You can bet that I was heartbroken I lost it.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autoracingdailyonline).

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Posted by on June 23, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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