2019 Larson

Larson enjoys differences between stock car, dirt racing

Fresh off a dominant performance in USAC Midget Racing, having swept three main events in California, Kyle Larson scoffed at the notion NASCAR Cup Series racing isn’t just as much fun to him.

“If it was work, I wouldn’t do it,” Larson said. “I tell people all the time, yeah, the money’s great, but if I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t be doing this. I would have gotten out of this a long time ago. I enjoy the travel. I enjoy the race cars. I enjoy the rules changes.

“I enjoy the competition — just the lifestyle. I enjoy everything about NASCAR. People probably think, because I go back and race dirt cars, that I do it because I don’t love NASCAR, and I need to get away and do something fun, but I have fun every single weekend.”

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Clearly at the top of the game on dirt, Larson hasn’t won in stock cars with the same frequency he has achieved in open-wheel cars.

But there’s a reason for that: more variables.

“I think it’s just more situational in NASCAR,” Larson said. “There are a lot of other factors that lead into how you finish. In dirt, when you’re out there, you’re not worried about a pit stop or a double-file restart or a 500-lap race. It’s just 30 laps, and there’s a lot less stuff that can happen to affect your race, because it is so much shorter.

“You can control your own destiny a little bit better. … I feel like I’ve got everything it takes to win in the Cup Series. We did it in 2017. Our race cars were really good then. Our pit crew was on it. So it’s just more situational, I guess.”