NASCAR champion Kyle Larson experiences the lowest-lows and the highest-highs in the sporting world as he visits the University of Florida March 4-5.
When a racing driver’s career ends, fans and the world often take a step back and consider just how close their hero came to winning a championship.
It is a different story for Kyle Larson when the NASCAR stars come to Gainesville for the final race of the 2011 season.
He has raced his entire NASCAR career on the oval track at Daytona International Speedway. While he has won two national championships and finished runner-up in another, he has had to battle for every victory.
Larson, who turned 21 on March 1, spent last season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on a Truck program that featured two wins and 33 top-five finishes. He finished fourth at Las Vegas, his worst finish of his career. He also had a crash in the opening race of the season that cost him a spot in the final race of the year.
So what was it like to spend the final week of 2011 in the NASCAR Busch Series?
“It was pretty special to be in the Busch series, but it was pretty sad for me to be driving a Truck,” he recalled. “We’ve gone to two different tracks, we’ve won twice at Talladega Superspeedway, and I had a few good moments. It was a great experience to be in the national championship of NASCAR and win it the first year.”
While he is still getting used to having his face on a race car, Larson has been able to spend time with his four children in the Orlando area and his mother and younger sister back in Michigan. He also has had some time to hang out with other top drivers on his personal racing team, called Larson Motorsports, that now has three cars in the Busch Series.
The 2011 NASCAR Busch Series season will be remembered for many things, but one will probably be the fact that there will not be an inaugural race for the Busch Series at the new Homestead-Miami Speedway on April 18-20, 2012. It will be replaced by a