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Friday, June 13, 2014

Cup series rookie Kyle Larson will become a father this year; and his professional life is going pretty well too

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- If you were to see Kyle Larson for the first time, you might think he is still in high school. And you wouldn't be far off. He was born in 1992.
But the young man had big news Friday at Michigan International Speedway -- he is going to be a father, with girlfriend Katelyn Sweet (sister of NASCAR driver Brad Sweet) due around Christmastime.

That is big news in his personal life, but Larson's professional life is also gong pretty well. After 14 races, Kyle has three top-5 finishes, 6 top-10s and is sitting 10th in points. It's a strong bet that he will make the Chase by points, even if he doesn't make his way in via a race win -- which is also very likely due to how well he is running.

Larson has energized the performance of Chip Ganassi's Cup efforts (his teammate Jamie McMurray recently won the All-Star race, so it's not just Larson doing well). He is young, and many folks doubted whether he was ready to make the jump to Cup racing. In a very short span, he has shown he can handle the big-time as well as any veteran in the field. That's a clear sign of maturity few his age possess.

Ganassi was the smart one here -- not the first time that's been said. This young man will be a big star and compete for titles; in fact he's already starting to do it.

Here is the full transcript of his conversation with the media this morning at Michigan International Speedway;

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed the speeds at Michigan, his expectations for Sonoma and many other topics.  Full Transcript:
“I don’t know I like Michigan a lot.  It’s a 2-mile track.  I think I do well on the 1.5-mile to 2-mile race tracks.  I wish I would have gotten to race here before they repaved it.  We did well here in the Nationwide race last year and looking for some good things again this week.  It’s probably a lot of a pit strategy race and track position race, but I feel like our Target team is good at getting me track position.  I’m really excited about this weekend.”
“I have never ran a Cup car at either Atlanta or here so I don’t know how the sensation of speed feels.  This track is so smooth or at least in a Nationwide car last year you don’t really feel like you are going 200 plus miles per hour, but it’s always different in the Cup cars.  These cars are extremely fast.  I bet it will be a fast race track.  This track has got a lot of grip though too.  That makes it feel like it slows down some.”
 HOW DO YOU FEEL HEADING INTO THE SUMMER MONTHS? WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR YOUR SUMMER?  DO YOU THINK THERE IS A TRACK WITHIN THOSE RACES YOU COULD GET YOUR FIRST WIN AT? “Yeah, I think Michigan is a good track for a first win.  It’s the size race track that I like.  We have been close a few times.  We have been pretty competitive every week so I think just keep knocking on the door and the wins will come.  Just have to stay consistent and put yourself in contention each week to try and sneak out a win.”
 ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR PROGRESS THUS FAR THIS SEASON?  YOU ARE TOP 10 IN POINTS, THINGS SEEM TO BE GOING WELL FOR YOU: “Yeah, it’s all going really good so far.  Top 10 in points; we have been a top 10 car every week pretty much.  It really is fun I’m having a blast this year.  A lot of stuff going on, me and Katelyn (Sweet, girlfriend) just found out we are having a baby so it’s a really exciting time.  How good the racing has been going, a new house, all that and now that so it’s been a lot of fun.”
 SONOMA NEXT WEEK HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO GO ROAD RACING NEXT WEEK? “I’m really excited I like road racing a lot.  I haven’t done much of it.  I did three Nationwide races last year and felt like I was pretty competitive at all three of those races.  Road America I ran third or fourth most of the race and got caught up in an accident in the last part of the race and was able to get back to seventh.  Mid-Ohio I came back from three laps down to be running third on the last lap and got moved out of the way which ended up in a bad finish there.  In Watkins Glen we were quick, but I missed a shift there and blew the engine up.  Really looking forward to going to Sonoma for my home town race.  I get to see a lot of friends, go to a sprint car race nearby to go watch on Saturday night.  It’s going to be a lot of fun going home.” 
“I guess the key for every road course is to stay on track all day and you can get a top 10 finish.  There is a lot of chaos that goes on at road course races.  So just have to stay out of trouble and get a good finish.  We have worked really hard to get to where we are at in points right now so just can’t throw it away by doing something stupid.  Just stay out of trouble and hopefully get a good finish.”
 WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART TO YOU ABOUT ROAD RACING?“I haven’t done a whole lot of it so I don’t know it 100 percent yet.  I got to go do Bondurant this week and I feel like I learned a little bit that will help me a lot.  I’m excited to get to Sonoma just because of the stuff that I learned at Bondurant I hadn’t known really until now.  I think I will be even better when I get to Sonoma.”
WHEN IS THE BABY DUE? “It was December 29th the first time she went then it was Christmas now it is kind of back to December 29th.  Christmas sounds cool so I will go with Christmas.”


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