Sean Gardner | Getty Images
Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Kyle Larson nominated for Best Driver at 2022 ESPYS

Kyle Larson has been nominated for Best Driver at the upcoming 2022 ESPY Awards.

The 29-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver is the defending Cup Series champion, coming off a season in which he tallied 10 wins, 20 top-five finishes and 26 top 10s. Larson broke the record for laps led in a 36-race season with 2,581. He had an average finish of 9.1.

“It’s a great honor,” Larson said Saturday at Road America. “I know there has been a lot of NASCAR drivers to win the award, so my fingers are crossed that I can win that. That would definitely be one of the coolest awards. Just being nominated alone is a great honor. But if I was to win it and beat a F1 World Champion, as well as the other champions, that would be a great honor.

“We’ll see. I hope. Max (Verstappen) had a great year, as well as everybody else. Hopefully they consider my dirt wins, as well; because if you factor in my dirt wins, then that would give me a better shot.”

RELATED: Kyle Larson driver page

Larson was also the first driver to score 10 wins in a season since seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat in 2007.

In the award’s 29-year history, NASCAR drivers have won 18 times with Johnson and Jeff Gordon earning the most at four. Kyle Busch is the most recent NASCAR driver to win the award when he did so in 2019.

Tony Stewart (three times) and Busch (twice) have also won the award multiple times, while Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarrett have each won once.

Going up against Larson for the award are 2021 Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen, defending IndyCar champion Alex Palou and four-time NHRA Drag Racing champion Steve Torrence.

The 2022 ESPYS will take place July 20 at 8 p.m. ET.