On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced that Kyle Larson, the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion, will look to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule in 2013. Larson, the 20-year-old driver from Elk Grove, CA, will attempt to make his series debut behind the wheel of the No. 32 Clorox Chevy Camaro fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports during Daytona Speedweeks in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NNS race on Feb. 23.
“We are pleased we were able to get Kyle in a quality, full-time ride for the 2013 Nationwide season," stated Chip Ganassi. Turner Scott Motorsports runs a quality Truck and Nationwide program and Kyle is one of the true young talents in racing. We think it will be a good fit for both of them. We believe Kyle has a bright future ahead of him in NASCAR.”
The EGR development driver turned heads in NASCAR competition in 2012 when he won the NKNPSE Championship in his first year of driving stock cars. Larson, who is of Japanese-American descent, also claimed the first series championship for one of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program drivers.
He had quite the breakout year in 2012, where he competed in 123 races and won 30 of them. Not only did he win nearly 25% of the races he entered, he proved to be a talented all around racer, driving in 12 different types of racecars; Pavement Midgets, Dirt Midgets, Pavement Silver Crown, Dirt Silver Crown, 360 winged and non-winged sprint cars, 410 winged and non-winged sprint cars, late-model stock cars, ARCA, K&N Pro Series stock car, and NASCAR trucks.
“Kyle has already proven in a very short amount of time that he is a very talented driver and we’re very excited to have him on board at Turner Scott Motorsports," added Harry Scott, co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports. "He did a fantastic job in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events he drove for us last season, so we are thrilled to be a part of the next step in his career and to see his talent develop while at the wheel of the No. 32 Chevrolet Camaro this season.”
Larson will have a big week in his Daytona International Speedway debut. Before attempting to run in the Nationwide race Larson will first compete in the Daytona ARCA race and will also participate in the Battle at the Beach held on a temporary 0.4-mile short track on Daytona’s Backstretch, that will feature three non-points special events from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Of course, he has proven that he is up for almost any challenge behind the wheel of a racecar. The two-time SPEED Performer of The Year Award nominee has had a busy couple years. In 2011, became only the second driver in history to accomplish the feat of winning in all three types of USAC cars (Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown) in a single night at the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway. He won in his stock car racing debut in February 2012 where he was victorious in the Pete Orr Memorial, Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna Speedway driving a super late model. He became just the third driver in history of the NKNPSE, to win the series championship as a rookie, in just his first season behind the wheel of a stock car. Larson capped his 2012 season in Auckland, New Zealand by capturing four out of four races at the International Midget World Series at Western Springs Speedway in December.
“This is truly one of the happiest days of my life," added an exuberant Larson. "I have been thinking about something like this since my very first days of racing. I am very proud to be part of Chip Ganassi’s organization and to be running with Turner Scott Motorsports. Daytona cannot come fast enough for me.”
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