Kyle Larson is only 30 years old, and has already proven himself to be one of the most dominant racers in recent memory. But, does the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship have what it takes to be lauded alongside such legends as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Jimmie Johnson? On a new episode of the Stacking Pennies podcast, hosts Corey LaJoie and Ryan Flores discussed what Larson would have to do to be considered NASCAR's GOAT.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 25, 2023
LaJoie posed the question and then gave his own answer.
"Five championships and 60 races, it's a legitimate conversation," Lajoie said.
Flores fired back with a much higher number for Kyle.
"Seven championships and 84-plus wins," Flores rebutted.
Corey then brought up that if the season finale race were still at Homestead-Miami Speedway every year, he would put his money on Larson being able to win seven out of 10 races over any other driver in the series to accomplish that high championship number. Nowadays, though, the season-ending race is at Phoenix, and since it moved to the short track in the desert in 2020, there have been three different champions in that span.
Regardless of the venue, Flores brought up how cool it has been to see what Larson has been able to accomplish on a weekly basis across all the forms of racing that he competes in.
"These are great conversations for right now," Flores said. "But, I just like to appreciate, like when I turn on Flo and Kyle Larson wins the high limits race on Wednesday night, wins the truck race on Saturday. Then goes out and wins a million bucks by a long stretch on Sunday, because he figured out how to move his car and place his car, and drive away from everybody. I just appreciate what he is doing right now in his own time."
Kyle certainly has a great shot to make a run at multiple championships. He proved so by winning 10 races in 2021 en route to that year's championship. He won the All-Star Race that year, too. He's a three-time All-Star winner, which puts him in elite company, because the other three drivers who have won the event at least three times all won four or more championships in their careers. Those drivers include Jeff Gordon, who won four titles, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jimmie Johnson, who each won seven apiece.
Larson has a chance to really make some noise for years to come. He might have a long way to go to be considered NASCAR's GOAT, but he certainly has the opportunity driving for Hendrick Motorsports to put himself in the conversation before his career is over.
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