​ Rowdy Maglite Racing Media

Larson Completes Comeback Year with NASCAR Championship​

By Kyle Magda

Kyle Larson took the dirt world away in 2020 by amassing an incredible amount of victories.

Larson found his way back into NASCAR with Hendrick Motorsports and the driver's magic this season only begun.

An impressive drive at Las Vegas in March put Larson back in NASCAR victory lane, winning by more than three seconds over Brad Keselowski.

Three runner-up finishes in May only propelled Larson for summer success. He dominated NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 after winning the pole and putting on a convincing performance. 

The Charlotte win started a streak of three straight Cup wins for the No. 5 team. Larson was a corner away in the first Pocono race until the left-front tire went down and the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet pounded the wall. 

The bad luck didn't stop Larson and crew chief Cliff Daniels. Larson got back to his winning ways at Watkins Glen, sandwiched in between wins in the Kings Royal and Knoxville Nationals.

A Hendrick Motorsports assist came in the Bristol Night race after Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick tangled for the lead. Elliott held up Harvick in the final laps, allowing Larson to score his first Bristol Cup victory.

One of the most defining moments of Larson's season came at the Charlotte Roval. Dealing with battery issues, Larson rallied back at the end for his seventh win of the season.

The momentum only carried into Texas as Larson led 256 of 334 laps to lock his spot into the championship round at Phoenix. The winning didn't stop there. A week later, Larson backed it up with a Kansas victory and Alex Bowman's win at Martinsville gave Hendrick Motorsports a clean sweep of the Round of 8.

There were a lot of championship-defining moments for the No. 5 team in 2021, but none more important than the final pit stop of the year.

Larson came into the pits fourth and the No. 5 crew, utilizing the No. 1 pit stall after winning the pole, got Larson out first and the Elk Grove, California native led the final 28 laps en route to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Will the success of Larson and the No. 5 team continue? 

Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images and Christian Petersen/Getty Images