Kyle Larson‘s dominant début season with Hendrick Motorsports has rewarded him with a contract extension. On Wednesday, the team announced Larson has signed a deal that will keep in the organisation through the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. His contract had previously been set to expire after 2022.
Since his return to NASCAR for the 2021 season, Larson has been on a tear as a first-year Hendrick driver. After twenty-one races, he has a series-high four wins while his eleven top fives and fourteen top tens are tied for the most; he is also second in points. From the Coca-Cola 600 on 30 May to the inaugural Ally 400 on 20 June, he won four straight events with three points rounds and the exhibition All-Star Race, and would have made it five in a row had his tyre not blown on the final lap at Pocono 1.
“It’s been a big year for Kyle,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “His talent inside the race car has been on full display, and he’s doing amazing things through his foundation and with our partners. I’m proud of his hard work and look forward to having him on our team for many years to come.”
Hendrick Automotive Group‘s HendrickCars.com brand will continue sponsoring his #5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the next two seasons, which includes supporting his non-NASCAR exploits such as dirt track racing. When he was suspended by NASCAR in the spring of 2020, he enjoyed a tremendously successful dirt season that included victories in sprint cars and late models.
HendrickCars will comprise the bulk of his sponsor schedule by appearing on the #5 for thirty-five of thirty-eight races in 2022. Valvoline will support him for the other three.
“The chance to extend my contract with Hendrick Motorsports and have such an awesome sponsor in HendrickCars.com are things I don’t take for granted,” said Larson. “I feel like I’m driving for the best team and the best sponsors in the sport.
“To know that our on-track performance is having positive business influence off the track is very important because I want to return the incredible support they’ve given me. Everyone at Hendrick Automotive Group has made me feel like part of their team, and it’s exciting to be able to represent a company that loves racing like I do. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”
Larson’s deal further locks up Hendrick’s strong four-driver lineup after team-mate Alex Bowman, a three-time winner in 2021, signed his own two-year extension in June. Chase Elliott and William Byron, also race winners, have yet to do the same but Hendrick intends to complete the process in the near-future.