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Kyle Larson Focuses on Strong Round of 12 Start at Texas

Kyle Larson looks forward to another race day at Texas. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

Kyle Larson looks forward to another race day at Texas. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

FORT WORTH, Texas – After placing fifth at Bristol last Saturday night, Kyle Larson acknowledged the challenges awaiting in the Round of 12 starting off at Texas Motor Speedway.

Ahead of Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (3:30 p.m. ET on USA), the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion expanded upon his thoughts with this latest leg of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

“It’s a nerve wracking round, I think, for everybody,” Larson said. “Texas can be an unknown type of track (with) your strategies, tires and all that. And then yeah, Talladega, which is obviously a wild card and then even the (Charlotte) ROVAL too.

“So we definitely think it’s gonna take some time to get through this now for everybody. But if our cars are fast enough, our team’s done a good enough job, we can get there.”

Certainly, the No. 5 Chevy Camaro has been among the consistent in terms of top five results in 2022. Following a trial and error period in the spring, Larson observed his team and organization’s strength and abilities to adapt to the Next Gen cars.

The distinct No. 5 car will be in Larson's command for another four years. (Photo: John Arndt | r/NASCAR)

The distinct No. 5 car will be in Larson’s command for another four years. (Photo: John Arndt | r/NASCAR)

“Yeah, definitely. I think our team… I don’t really notice much difference,” he shared. “I feel like our team is always, our Hendrick Motorsports teams have always worked really well together.

“I would say it’s no different. Maybe just our competition meetings are just a little bit longer. There’s talk about cars, upcoming stuff, but I feel like we’ve done a great job transitioning from last year’s cars to the Next Gen cars.”

Recently, Larson, like most of his Cup peers, has participated in USA’s Race for the Championship docuseries. While it has not reached international audiences yet like Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries for Formula 1, he appreciates its authenticity.

“They’ve done a great job with the show,” he observed. “I feel like it does showcase the stressfulness of the racing side, but also what we’re up to off the track. So getting a good glimpse of all that for the race fans and get to realize that we’re normal people just like they.

“I’ve enjoyed watching the show and I hope the viewership is really good. relies on hour or so. I’ve enjoyed watching the show.”

The Elk Grove, California also can take heart in solid job security with Hendrick Motorsports. Recently, he signed a contract extension up to 2026 when he turns the ripe old age of 34.

“Yea, it’s great. It’s definitely nice to have that security a little bit and know that you’re wanted somewhere,” he said. “So I’ve enjoyed my time at Hendrick Motorsports. And I hope to be there long past 2026. I’m hoping to go with many more races and many more championships.”

Similarly, one of Larson’s strengths aside from his adept racing skills is his ability to clear his mind knowing he’s got another opportunity ahead.

It's about putting your best foot forward in Larson's case. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

It’s about putting your best foot forward in Larson’s case. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

“I try to never really put too much pressure on myself or others just because it’s hard to live with all that pressure,” Larson remarked. “And when things aren’t going well like how you might want it to, I think I just try to move on and forget about it and know that I try my best.

“And if things aren’t working out, I’ve got another race in front of me or whatever. It doesn’t have to do with racing. But just trying to move on quickly.”

Rob Tiongson is a sports writer and editor originally from the Boston area and resides in the Austin, Texas, area. Tiongson has covered motorsports series like NASCAR and INDYCAR since 2008 and NHRA since 2013. Most recently, Tiongson is covering professional basketball, mainly the WNBA, and women's college basketball. While writing and editing for The Podium Finish, Tiongson currently seeks for a long-term sportswriting and sports content creating career. Tiongson enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson is an alum of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and St. Bonaventure University's renowned Jandoli School of Communication with a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism.

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