Kyle Larson, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, will compete in the Nationwide series through a joint effort between Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports, the teams said Wednesday in a teleconference. Larson won his championship while driving for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.
Larson expects to begin his Nationwide racing season at Daytona International Speedway later this month after he proves to NASCAR that he can safely run at the super speedway. He will enter the Feb. 16 ARCA race to allow NASCAR to judge his ability to navigate the Florida track.
Larson may be new to the Nationwide series, but he has been around racing all his life. His family took him to his first Sprint car race when he was about a week old and he started racing go-karts at four.
"I remember I ran it into a tree,” Larson said of his first attempt to drive a go-kart.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Chip Ganassi and Larson share similar goals for the season for the rookie, who will be driving Turner Scott equipment. Both hope the driver has a win or two, leads some laps and finishes among the top-five drivers in points at the end of the season.
After the Feb. 16 ARCA race, some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will put the new Gen-6 car to its first test under actual conditions at the Sprint Unlimited. Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and runner-up Clint Bowyer will not running the non-points race, limited to drivers who won a pole in 2012 or previously won the race.