NASCAR Cup: Kyle Larson to make 300th start

0
100
AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, enters his car in the garage areaduring practice for the NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 10, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 10: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, enters his car in the garage areaduring practice for the NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 10, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

When the NASCAR Cup Series takes the green flag Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Ambetter Health 400, Kyle Larson will make his 300th-career Cup Series start.

Larson has 19 wins in his first 299 Cup Series races, including a series-leading 10 wins in 2021, his first season as driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Thirteen of his career wins have come since joining HMS. He also won the Cup championship in 2021.

While a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, Larson contested four Cup Series races for HScott Motorsports in 2013 before going full-time at the Cup level the following season with Chip Ganassi Racing. He remained at CGR into the 2020 season before an indefinite NASCAR suspension sidelined him most of that year.

Larson has two top-five finishes in the first four races of 2023, but he dropped to 32nd in the driver points standings after a 100-point deduction among penalties levied to Hendrick Motorsports by NASCAR for allegedly modified hood louvers at Phoenix Raceway.

“We had a shot to win in Daytona and I crashed. In Fontana (Calif.), we had the mechanical issue early in the race but fixed it, and the last two runs of the race, we were by far the fastest car. In Vegas, we were the second-best car to William (Byron) and finished second. In Phoenix, again, we had a great car there and had a shot to win late. No win in the column, but I’m super pleased with our performance and look forward to every upcoming race. I feel like no matter where we go right now, we will have a shot at a good finish and, hopefully, some wins along the way.”

Larson has two second-place finishes among his four top-10s in 10 races at Atlanta. His 419 laps-led there is the highest tally among winless drivers at Atlanta.

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