Kyle Larson to make Cup debut in Charlotte

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It was only a matter of time before Kyle Larson would make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.

Larson, who will replace Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2014, will drive the No. 51 Target Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing at Charlotte and Martinsville in a few weeks. Larson does not have the opportunity to race in the No. 42 this year as Montoya is committed to the team for the rest of the season.

Larson currently drives for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the move is a natural one given Harry Scott Jr. has taken over operations of James Finch’s team.

“There’s an opportunity here, and he’s a great driver, and he’s obviously the No. 1 pick as said by many other people besides myself,” Chip Ganassi said of Larson when he announced the prodigious 21-year-old as Montoya’s replacement. “Nobody deserves a shot more than he does.”

Justin Allgaier had been announced for Charlotte and Talladega originally, so this changes one of those two planned starts.

Larson is the latest driver in the revolving door of the No. 51, following Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Mike Bliss, Austin Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Owen Kelly, Bobby Labonte, Regan Smith, Ryan Truex and Jacques Villeneuve.