Valvoline: Who was your biggest inspiration or had the most influence on your career when you were getting started?
Kyle Larson: “Probably my dad. He got me into racing, took care of all my go-carts growing up, and taught me a lot of lessons about racing and life. So, I would say he’s been the biggest inspiration.”
Valvoline: Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know.
Kyle Larson: “You may have heard this already, but I like lettuce a lot. I really enjoy salads; I always say I’ve never had a bad salad. I also always try to add lettuce to other meals like burgers and tacos.”
Valvoline: How do you feel about NASCAR racing at the World-Wide Technology center?
Kyle Larson: “I think it’s great. I think it’s a good market to be in. I think it’s a really unique track and that the Next Gen car will race well there, especially with shifting and things like that. So, yeah, definitely good that we’re going there.”
Valvoline: How does the Next-Gen car compare to last year’s cup car?
Kyle Larson: “I’d say on mile-and-a-half tracks, it seems to be better. You can draft, you still have to lift, you’re sliding around and on edge, plus you can get big runs on other drivers. It seems on the short tracks that dirty air has been a bigger issue than what I imagined it being. Other than that, it drives similar and, for the most part races similar to the old car. To me, the feel isn’t a crazy difference.”
Valvoline: What is your favorite track on the schedule?
Kyle Larson: “The concrete Bristol track for sure. I look forward to the night race in Bristol a lot.”
Valvoline: How does the team prepare for a new track?
Kyle Larson: “Oh man, I’ll need to defer to Cliff for the technical side of that question. For me, I’m going to watch some past truck series races. Maybe some Xfinity races from back in the day.”
Valvoline: What are the biggest challenges your team has faced with the Next-Gen car?
Kyle Larson: “First, I think the team has done a really good job. With it being a new car and practices being so short, the key is getting your setup close, quickly. Having a good setup when you unload is really important, and I think our team has done a good job of having a car capable of winning the race right off the truck. Getting better at the track is a challenge for all teams and one we’re working on each week.”