Getting to know your 2012 K&N East Series Champion Kyle Larson


For those who might not be familiar with you, tell us a little bit about how you got into racing, and your prior experiences before getting into racing and what got you into racing?

I was kinda of born into it, my parents were race fans, they took me to my first sprint race when I was about a week old, as a spectator I went to able 70 to 80 races a year just to watch. I have always been around it, my dad built me a little go cart track to play around in when I was four. I started into that a little bit before I got into outlaw carts in California from the time I was seven until I was fourteen.

Last year was my first year traveling and racing nationally, had a pretty good season and this season with Rev Racing. Ganassi picked me up and gave me an opportunity in stock cars and it’s been pretty good with a lot of fun and success.

Being this is the first time for you out here at Rockingham, what do you think of the track and what have you done to prepare yourself?

Everyone has told me it’s really slick and eats tires a lot. With it being slick and rough I think it will be a great race, I just have to make sure I take care of my tires at the beginning so I have something at the end.

With you being a part of the NASCAR diversity program, how has that helped you on track and personally off track, getting you acclimated to the travel and media schedules?

It’s been really good running the stock cars a lot, it’s even helped me when I go run dirt to be patient. Running NASCAR you have a lot of media stuff to do, getting my name out there and on TV with NASCAR Now and Racehub, it’s been really good and thankful for the opportunity.

Over the week NASCAR announced some penalties again LaJoie putting you in the points lead, how does that change the way you will drive today, do you plan on racing conservatively or going out there and giving it your all?

I think you have to be a little bit conservative, if I find myself in position to win the race I am going to go for it but not put myself in any position to get myself into trouble. It sucks Corey got docked those points, he was caught more than once and you have to suffer the consequences.

What are some of the things that you do off the race track and not at the shop?

I don’t get to go to the shop much, I am always racing, when I am not out running stock cars I am off racing three or four times a week in dirt cars. I ran close to 120 times this year which seems like more than anybody but I am off having fun. With traveling a lot I don’t have much time to focus on much other than racing. It’s a lot of fun and hopefully won’t stop racing 120 times a year.

If you could pick one person that has inspired you to get into racing, who would it be and why?

My biggest backer since I started was my dad, he owned all my go carts. There have been several people who have helped guide my career, back out in California David Robinson was a big help, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have both been big helps as well as Kasey Kahne. Shane Hmiel has been a great help teaching me about stock cars and the way they work, there have been a lot of people who have helped along the way.

You have a couple truck races under your belt already this year with a couple coming up here at Phoenix and Homestead, what are your looking for most in the truck series and will this be something you move to next year?

I’d like to run a full truck season but it will all depend on the sponsorship they are able to find, running two races already and two more coming up I am looking forward to that, I get to go out there and race on TV with drivers like Kyle Busch. James Buescher, Aric Almirola and guys like that. I look forward to being in the truck and have a lot of fun with it, they have more horsepower then the K&N cars and the tires are tricky, just a lot of fun as I learn something every lap.

A little bit earlier I talked to you, you said you were going to go out there and take it easy, see where you fell in at, that’s what it looked like you did for the first half of the race. Coming into the second half of the race and towards the end of the race you started putting a little bit more pressure on the guy. What did you do from the first half to the second half to put a little bit more pressure on the other guys and move up?

The first half we weren’t good enough to challenge we were too tight and I couldn’t be aggressive I had to run the corner hard but I couldn’t. Randy Goss put a spring rubber in the car that changed the car which freed me up enough so I could carry speed into the corner. It was a lot of fun racing the second 50 laps, track is really fun it’s slick from top to bottom.

Now that you are the 2012 K&N East series champion, do you plan on returning next to defend your championship or do you plan on moving to move into a truck ride full time next year?

Not really sure what’s going on for next year, I’d defiantly like to run the K&N races. I don’t know if I would want to run for points again, I’d defiantly like to do tracks like this, Richmond, Dover,  Bristol, and places like that. Would like to be in trucks and Nationwide next year but all depends on where we are at with sponsorship . Ganassi has been really good getting me in truck races, it’s really good racing and looking forwards to Phoenix and Homestead.