Kyle Larson comments on the special congratulations he received following his first NASCAR win with Hendrick Motorsports
Last year, it was unclear if Kyle Larson would ever return to NASCAR.
He reacted by listing both homes in North Carolina for sale then returned home to California. Soon after, Larson entered dirt track racing events across the country.
Months later, Larson announced he would shut down his dirt sprint car team at year’s end. His future in motorsports remained largely uncertain.
He put the helmet back on with something to prove. Larson drove to victory lane an astonishing 43 times in 2020, reminding everyone why he made it to NASCAR in the first place.
By late October, it was announced that Larson would return to NASCAR in 2021. Hendrick Motorsports signed the driver to pilot the No. 5 machine.
Kyle Larson wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
On Sunday, Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Larson started toward the front and he led 103 of the 267 laps as he claimed the win.
It’s his first NASCAR Cup Series win since 2019. But, there’s likely more on the way.
After the win, multiple drivers approached the No. 5 car. Denny Hamlin was among those to give the driver a high five on his return to victory lane.
Brad Keselowski congratulates Kyle Larson
“It feels good. I guess, I didn’t know if I’d ever have another opportunity to win a NASCAR race again,” Larson stated in the post-race press conference.
After the win, Kyle Larson parked it on the front stretch to do the TV interview. As he did that, the runner up finisher was already waiting for him. Brad Keselowski walked across the infield grass to be the first driver to congratulate Larson.
“That was really special to see Brad walk across the infield to congratulate me. You know, waiting too, while I completed my interviews and things.”
“That was special. He’s someone I really respect and look up to, as a driver, a leader, all of that. I feel like we’ve built a friendship over the last 5-6 years. Having children is really what brought us together.”
“We live in the same community, so we see each other throughout the week sometimes. Birthday parties and stuff, he’ll come to, for my children.”
“I really like Brad. I’ve always respected him, even before I ever raced in NASCAR, I was a Brad Keselowski fan.”
Bubba Wallace congratulates Larson
As Larson went to victory lane, he was met by another fellow NASCAR competitor, Bubba Wallace.
“It meant a lot to have Bubba come to victory lane. He always does a good job of congratulating winners,” Larson said.
“I saw him waiting to say hi or whatever. So, I ran over there and just had a quick moment with him. He said, ‘Congrats’. You know, he’s always believed in me.”
“That was special, just really cool to have him come by and take time out of his post-race. You know, were he could be on his way to the airport, to go home.”
Larson concluded, “For him to come by was really cool. And, I hope they can start getting some better luck with that race team and having some good runs, like they deserve.”
Bubba Wallace tweeted about the moment in victory lane, “Proud and happy for Kyle Larson. Told him way to keep his head thru it all! We all knew it was a matter of time. Nice dub young money”