Kyle Larson says dirt goal was ‘show the world I made it to Cup on talent’

Kyle Larson victory crash
Trent Gower/World of Outlaws

Kyle Larson had something to prove this season in dirt racing, but even he didn’t believe he would be able to fulfill his motivation so well.

“Once I got let go from my NASCAR ride and knew that I was going to need to run a lot of dirt stuff, my goal was to show the world I made it to Cup on talent, and I deserved to be there,” he said on the latest episode from the World of Outlaws’ “Open Red” podcast. “That was what I wanted to prove to everyone. And I feel like I’ve been able to do that, and it’s gone way better than I thought it would.”

In a 35-minute conversation that was released Tuesday, Larson dissected the magical run he has enjoyed in dirt racing since his indefinite suspension from NASCAR.

He has more than 30 victories this year in sprint cars, midgets and most recently in his second career start in a dirt late model – which Larson said was “probably one of the most satisfying wins of my career.”

It also was among the more unexpected – though Larson also has surprised himself in car owner and crew chief Paul Silva’s No. 57.

“I felt like I could win a lot,” he said. “Typically, in years I’ve (raced) Cup but also run 25 dirt shows, I can win a quarter of the races.

“But I never thought I’d win over 50% of my races. Definitely wasn’t expecting to do as good as we’ve done this year. But as good as Paul Silva is and getting to race a lot more with him. And then myself getting more laps and getting into more of a rhythm of dirt racing.

“It really, really benefited the both of us. I think that’s why I’ve been able to win a lot this year, just getting that repetition of me inside the cockpit and him getting to dial in the race car has really helped in our success. It’s definitely gone way better than any of us expected. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Kyle Larson celebrated with family and team after the first night of The One and Only at Knoxville Raceway (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).

Part of his enjoyment has come from traveling with his wife, Katelyn, and children Owen and Audrey, who have become a jovial presence in his victory lane celebrations.

“Having my family there definitely makes winning different than before,” Larson told Open Red. “Just getting to see my kids have a lot of fun in victory lane and run around. Just seeing the excitement on their faces is probably the coolest part. That’s been probably the highlight of this year. Winning races but also getting to do it with my family and traveling up and down the road. And just making memories that we’re never going to forget as a family.

During the podcast, Larson discussed his increased affection and respect for Pennsylvania’s sprint car fans, a corner-by-corner dissection of he won his Aug. 22 duel with Logan Schuchart and the dynamics of his working relationship with Silva.

Larson also laments missing an opportunity to run the Knoxville Nationals and Kings Royal because of the pandemic but adds “the world’s going through a lot now. All us competitors and fans should be thankful we’re able to race still and compete for pretty good money. … I’m sure next year, all those events will go above and beyond.”

And will Larson return to race them in 2021?

“I don’t know what I’m going to be doing next year yet,” he said. “I haven’t really thought too far ahead of what I’m doing right now. That’s try to win every race I’m entered in and try to cap off what’s already been a really good season.”

You can listen to the Open Red podcast by clicking on the embed above or downloading where you get podcasts.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.