Kyle Larson’s win in a Ricky Hendrick paint scheme is emotional for Rick Hendrick

NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick talks Kyle Larson’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

In Summer 2020, everyone had thrown Kyle Larson to the curb. His chance at returning to NASCAR was looking slim.

All the while, Larson was dominating dirt track across the country. He collected 43 wins in 2020 as he searched for a path back to NASCAR. And he was doing all that without mainstream coverage of the success.

Related: Kyle Larson lists both North Carolina homes for sale

However, the path back to the sport, found him. Rick Hendrick decided to take a chance, bringing Larson into his four car stable. Larson is piloting the No. 5 machine.

Related: Kyle Larson to drive No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 NASCAR season

Larson is back. Yet, Rick Hendrick himself is funding a large bulk of the primary sponsors for Larson’s machine. He took a gamble on the young talent, and it’s already paying off after a trip to Vegas.

Now, in just his fourth race with the team, Larson has returned to victory lane.

Rick Hendrick on Kyle Larson

“Kyle has brought a lot of excitement,” Rick Hendrick says after Larson’s win.

“When we announced that he was coming to drive for us, of course the whole company started watching him in sprint cars. Then, everybody was tuned into the Chili Bowl.”

“We knew his talent. I’ve worked with Kyle, when he was at Ganassi. I’ve always had a relationship with him. He’s just a heck of a talent.”

“I think the energy that he has brought to our company, along with the energy to see all the cars running as good as they’re running, that has got the whole organization on their toes.”

“It just looks like in every race we’re in, we got cars in there that can win it. That’s what you want. You want an opportunity to win. Everybody’s working well together.”

“The chemistry is so good right now, I don’t know if I ever remember it being any better, across the board with all four cars. We’ve had two cars sometimes and then one car winning them all. But, now we’ve got a really good balance.”

“You look at the end of [last] year when Chase won Martinsville. It just brought a lot of energy, then the championship.”

“Our alliance with Richard Childress, we’ve been working hard together on bringing the best stuff to the track.”

Hendrick added, “Everybody’s excited and I’m excited.”

Kyle Larson in victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - NASCAR Cup Series
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 07, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Larson winning in the No. 5

On Sunday, Larson was piloting the machine. The wrap featured a blue, white and red paint scheme.

The scheme is nearly identical to Ricky Hendrick’s car from Busch Series competition in 2001-2002. The son of Rick Hendrick was killed in a place crash on October 24, 2004. The crash claimed the lives of 7 other friends and family members.

The win in the near identical paint scheme was emotional for the family…

“This win today in the #5 car, with my son’s paint scheme on it, was probably one of the most special races that I’ve ever watched,” Rick Hendrick added,

“My wife and I were watching. It was emotional, it was joy, it was so many things. That meant a ton to me and to my family, today. Kyle made us proud today.”

“Everybody’s just rolling up their sleeves. We’ve still got work to do, we got work to do in the pits. You always want to improve, but we got good speed and the cars are handling well.”

“All these guys from William to Alex, they all got another year under their belt. They’re just going to get better.”

Related: Bubba Wallace, other NASCAR drivers congratulate Kyle Larson


Kyle Larson | Hendrick Motorsports | Las Vegas Motor Speedway | NASCAR