A World 100 Victory Could Put Kyle Larson In A Group All By Himself

Kyle Larson has been at the forefront of American motorsports for nearly a decade now. After his coming-out party during the 2011 Four-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, where he became only the second driver (Jack Hewitt) ever to win all classes of USAC cars, on the same night, in the history of the event, which set him up for a speed course with NASCAR and the biggest stages of 410 Sprint Car racing. Since that late September evening in New Weston, Ohio, Larson signed with Chip Ganassi Racing, spending one season in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series in 2012, leading into a handful of NASCAR Gandor Outdoors Truck Series starts at the back-half of the schedule and a full-time drive in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, in 2013, where he overcame one of the most violent wrecks in series history, during the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, to have an impressive rookie season.


In 2014, after just two full seasons on the NASCAR ladder system, Chip Ganassi tapped the Elk Grove, California native to take over the team's No. 42 NASCAR Cup Series entry, which was vacated by Juan Pablo Montoya following the conclusion of the 2013 season. In 2016, Yung Money delivered on everyone's expectations, grabbing his first win at Michigan Internation Speedway, following that up with a 2017 season that saw four series victories and a 2019 campaign in which Kyle delivered two NCS wins, including the $1,000,000-to-win NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and his deepest NASCAR Playoffs run of his short career, coming up just a handful of points short of a birth in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


During his time in NASCAR since that career-changing Four-Crown Nationals in 2011, Larson has made his presence felt on the 410 Sprint Car, 360 Sprint Car and midget side of things, as well. Kyle has been able to deliver a high number of wins, including multiple Turkey Night Grand Prix victories, Knoxville Nationals Preliminary Night triumphs, a Gateway Dirt Nationals crown and seemingly an annual trip to victory-lane at the Chili Bowl Nationals on his qualifying night. His most successful moment since 2011, however, came during what ended up being a cross-over weekend in 2017, where the 27-year-old took home a Knoxville Nationals preliminary night win, locking himself into the big show Saturday evening, leading his fanbase to plead with Larson's NASCAR owner, Chip Ganassi, to let Kyle compete in Saturday's main event, which came only hours before he was set to start the NCS race in Michigan. Larson would go on to make good on Ganassi letting him run the race, which went against a contract clause that forbids him from running in any non-NASCAR sanctioned race 24-hours before an NCS event, by finishing second to Donny Schatz in the Knoxville Nationals and taking home the NASCAR race win on Sunday after a historic final restart.


It's safe to say that Kyle Larson is on-top of the North American motorsports landscape, along with victories abroad in a midget and sprint car, down-under in Australia and New Zealand, and he will continue to accomplish mover the next number of decades, as the California native is a favorite to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship. The success of Larson and his obvious want to keep racing as much as possible, in as many forms of the sport as possible, including wins on the biggest stages in NASCAR, USAC, WoO and even IMSA, where he and his CGR team grabbed a Rolex 24 at Daytona victory in 2015, makes you wonder what could be next for Yung Money on the dirt track racing end of things.


On multiple occasions, Kyle Larson has noted that he would love to pilot a dirt late model, at some point during his career and wished that the Prelude to the Dream, at Eldora Speedway, was still around now that he has made it to the top level of NASCAR. The event, which ran from 2005 until the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Dirt Derby at Eldora took over that space in 2013, consisted of NASCAR, IndyCar, WoO, USAC, and NHRA stars, competing for charity and bragging rights. If the Prelude returned, obviously that would give Larson the opportunity to run a late model, but if that never happens, could we ever see him try his hand at a major late model event at Eldora Speedway, with the Dirt Late Model Dream or World 100, the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, Gateway Dirt Nationals or possibly a World of Outlaws Late Model January race at Vado Speedway, if those continue?


Now, obviously it would take a partnership with a solid team, but Larson is known to have a good relationship with a few late model regulars, not to mention how close he is with Tony Stewart and Donny Schatz, who both either own or have owned a high-quality late-model ride. Some of the other dominos that would have to fall would be scheduling, maybe a test session and an okay from NASCAR sponsors and ownership, but if all those came together, just imagine the spectacle that would be Kyle Larson piloting Donny Schatz' No. 15 in the World 100 at Eldora Speedway, everyone would win.


- USA Today Photo

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