Kyle Larson allowed to compete in select dirt track races this off-season


With him and his girlfriend preparing to welcome their first child in December, you’d figure Kyle Larson’s off-season would be busy enough.

But the likely NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year will also be making a limited return to sprint car racing, where he developed his talents (and which he defended as a whole this summer following the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy).

Larson will drive a midget car in the famous Turkey Night Grand Prix (which he has won before) from Nov. 26-27 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.

He’ll then make an appearance in a winged sprint car for the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona. That event will take place Jan. 2-3, 6, and 9-10.

Finally, Larson will return to the midgets for a shot at the Golden Driller in the Chili Bowl Nationals, which take place from Jan. 12-17 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has yet to win the Chili Bowl main event, with a top finish of third in the 2012 running.

For Turkey Night and the Chili Bowl, Larson will race for Keith Kunz Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian and have backing from Target’s Cartwheel brand. In Arizona, he’ll race for Larson-Marks Racing, the sprint car team he co-owns.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to a few dirt tracks during the offseason,” Larson said in a Chip Ganassi Racing release. “As most people know, dirt racing is where I started my career, and while I always wanted to drive in the Sprint Cup Series, I really appreciate the opportunity to be back racing on dirt.

“Being able to once again participate in the Chili Bowl, and have another chance to win the feature, is something I’m really looking forward to. It is great when you work for an owner like Chip that’s a former driver because he knows how it feels and to also have a partner like Target that is supportive of me doing this. I am very appreciative for the opportunity.”

As for his boss, Ganassi said that he was “happy” that Larson will have the chance to get back to his roots.

“His results on dirt tracks and fan base speak for themselves, and I’ve been pleased to see him bring some of that success and excitement to our NASCAR team this year,” he said.