Larson not disappointed he won’t drive No. 24

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kyle Larson grew up a fan of Jeff Gordon, once sat in Gordon’s office as Gordon discussed the young driver’s future, but he will not be the racer to replace the four-time champion.

Although some questioned if Larson could be the driver to take over the No. 24 ride, that honor will go to Chase Elliott next season, Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday.

Larson said he’s not disappointed.

“I’m happy where I’m at,’’ Larson said during the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “That’s cool for Chase. He’ll definitely be a front-runner right off the bat.

Larson says he looks to do with the No. 42 what Gordon did for the No. 24 – a car number that had never won a Cup race before Gordon took over that number.

“A lot of people have told me that the 24 then was what the 42 is now where they weren’t the biggest team in NASCAR and Jeff kind of took that and made it into what it is,’’ said Larson, who is looking for his first Cup victory and narrowly missed make the Chase last year as a rookie. “I like that possibility to be the guy to make Chip Ganassi Racing a championship team year in and year out. I look forward to hopefully spending a long time with Chip and win a lot of races.’’

Although Gordon was Larson’s favorite driver years ago, Larson said he never dreamed of driving the No. 24 car.

“When I was a kid, Jeff Gordon was invincible and I probably thought he was going to race the rest of his life,’’ Larson said.

Instead, this will be Gordon’s final full season in Cup.

Next year, when Larson races against that car, Elliott will be driving it.

It could be the beginning of quite a rivalry.

“A rivalry in a good way, a competitive way,” Larson said. “When I think of a rivalry, I think of two drivers who butt heads. Me and Chase are friends and he’s really, really good. I hope we have a rivalry in a competitive way, that means we’re both up front, competing for wins.’’

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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