Kyle Larson to No. 5 Hendrick car in 2021

Let’s be honest. Most of us saw this Kyle Larson news coming.

Hendrick Motorsports announced, Wednesday, that Larson will take over the No. 88 Chevrolet (renumbered No. 5 for 2021), vacated by Alex Bowman, in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.

“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program.”

This move wraps up the biggest silly season storyline of the 2020 season.

Before it started, many expected Larson to jump to Hendrick Motorsports. He was in the last year of his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing. Moreover, given his stats and racing prowess, he was a highly-valued free agent.

That rumor hit a speed bump in April, however, when NASCAR suspended Larson indefinitely for using a racial slur in an iRacing event. After multiple sponsors dropped him, Chip Ganassi fired him.

In between that and Wednesday’s announcement, Larson ran multiple World of Outlaws events.

Hendrick talked with Larson on multiple occasions and said he “understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR.”

“I’m confident about what’s in his heart and his desire to be a champion in all aspects of his life and career,” Hendrick said. “Kyle has done important work over the past six months, and Hendrick Motorsports is going to support those continued efforts.”

Larson said their first conversation wasn’t related to racing.

“He cares about me as a person and wants to see me succeed beyond driving,” he said.

“My goal is to win races, be a great teammate, continue my personal efforts to grow, and hold myself to that high standard personally and professionally.”

TOP IMAGE: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images


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