Cup Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, sits in his car during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 10, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Published on March 28th, 2014 | by Michael J Smith

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Hold Off On Anointing Larson

Coming off of a Nationwide Series win and a second-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, Kyle Larson is getting a lot of attention.

Some writers think Larson could win a Sprint Cup race as early as this spring. Others say that he might not win that soon, but a Cup win this season is not out of the question.

Even some of the sports biggest names are gushing over Larson. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have been praising Larson’s talent for years.

I say let’s hold on a minute before we get out the anointing oils, to quote Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Parcells.

Larson is only nine races into his Cup career. He has an average finish of 23rd, with only one lap led in a Cup race.

Last season, he drove the No. 51 for what is now known as HScott Motorsports. In the four starts he made for HSM, his best finish was a 15th place at in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Granted, he had engine problems in two of those four starts. And, the No. 51 wasn’t the most competitive car or team.

In five starts this season, he has one top 5 and two top 10s in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 car.

He drove very well at the end of the Auto Club 400 at Fontana, but he also struggled mightily in the Daytona 500, hitting the wall twice in the opening laps and spinning out.

I do believe that Larson is a very good driver, and he will get better as he gains more experience. He might even win a Cup race this season. I’m not arguing that.

But, we’re five races into the season, and nine races into Larson’s Cup career. Let’s give the kid a chance to develop and gain some experience before we start placing a lot of expectations on him.

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About the Author

Michael J. Smith is a NASCAR enthusiast and blogger. In addition to founding this website, Michael is a journalist with over a decade of experience writing for prestigious media organizations.



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