DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Larson is one of the best in the business when it comes to racing sprint cars at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway.
He’s won multiple sprint car features at the historic half-mile dirt oval, including last season’s The One and Only that saw him bank a cool $50,000 prize. With that success in mind, many would have assumed Larson would have his sights set on competing in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the track on July 9.
However, Larson has no plans to run that event.
“I don’t have plans to do it,” Larson told SPEED SPORT reporter Kyle McFadden earlier this week. “I really haven’t looked into it. I did the Truck stuff at Eldora and that was fun to do. I don’t know. I guess I’m just playing it by ear and seeing how the Bristol (dirt) races go and kind of make a decision from there.”
Larson has proven himself to be one of the most prolific dirt-track racers of his generation. Last year after being fired by Chip Ganassi Racing following his use of a racial slur, Larson hit the road and won 46 dirt-track events in four different types of race cars.
As Larson noted, he has previous experience racing on dirt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. When the series ran its inaugural dirt-track race at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway in 2013, Larson finished second to race winner Austin Dillon.
Larson returned the next season at Eldora, but crashed out and finished 26th. He skipped the 2015 edition of the race but returned in 2016 and drove to victory ahead of fellow dirt racing ace and NASCAR competitor Christopher Bell.
A key to Larson potentially competing in the event would be a sponsor stepping up to make the opportunity happen. Larson acknowledged that, after everything that happened last year, sponsors are difficult for him to find.
“It’s obviously hard for me to get sponsorship right now,” Larson said. “It’s not cheap at all to put together a Truck to go race and I’m not going to pull money out of my own pocket to go do it. Also, I want to be in the best possible ride I can be in. I don’t want to be in something that’s…I don’t want to feel like I’m at a disadvantage. That’s why I guess I’m playing it by ear and not committing to anything.
“It’s cool that they’re doing it. I think it’ll be a good race and it’ll have really, really good dirt. But it’s flat, so I don’t know how that’ll make those heavy race cars race.”