Column By: JOHN DOUGLAS / RPW – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – With the departure of Jamie McMurray from the Chip Ganassi Racing stables, Kurt Busch was tapped for 2019 to fill the seat of the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet. The new team, new teammate and new Chevrolet will all be a new experience for the former Cup Series champion, however his new teammate, Kyle Larson, is excited and looking forward to getting to know Busch better.
Larson, now the longer tenured driver in Ganassi’s stable isn’t sure what to expect out of the new relationship with Kurt.
“Honestly I never really talked to Kurt except in passing, maybe one or two times a year.” Said Larson. “You know, just chit-chat. If we qualified next to each other we’d ride in the same truck together. That’s about all we’d really talk. But you know, everybody I’ve talked to that’s been a teammate to him in the past said as crazy as he is, he’s a great teammate. He’s been good to work with so far and he’s got a ton of knowledge of the sport so I’ve enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to getting to other race tracks outside of you know, like a Daytona so we can learn more off each other.”
Larson’s outlook remains largely the same, as he remains focused on winning and excelling in the sport. He still loves dirt racing and still plans to do a lot of it. His passion remains on the dirt side of things, but the focus has clearly become his Cup Series career.
The California native isn’t phased by the long grind that is the Cup Series season. His sprint car schedule has always been a grind. If the Cup season was shorter, Larson says he’d simply run more dirt races.
“You know, I think a lot of people would say it’s too long, but I’m not gonna say it’s too long because I mean I’m racing before the season starts and after the season ends. I race year round. I’m not the guy to judge the schedule. I mean if it was shorter, I’d just go run more sprint car races so it’d be more of a grind if it was shorter on me you know? I’d be racing 100 times instead of 70.”
Larson looks to capture his first Daytona 500 victory this Sunday in the race’s 61st running. He says luck needs to be on his side to make that happen.
“I mean, I think it’s huge.” Larson said of the luck factor involved in Sunday’s race. I haven’t really finished many races here so I would say it takes a lot of luck, but then you know you got guys who are always in the running for the win at all these plate races. They Make their own luck.”