NASCAR: Kyle Larson breaks a Hendrick Motorsports record

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

In 38 seasons of NASCAR Cup Series competition, no Hendrick Motorsports driver had ever done what Kyle Larson pulled off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Entering the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, 19 drivers had managed to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car to victory lane at some point during the team’s first 37 seasons in the sport.

That group of 19 included all three of their returning drivers from last season, including 2020 champion Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron.

Kyle Larson was their new addition for the 2021 season behind the wheel of the #5 Chevrolet, and he became the 20th driver to ever win for the team.

He did it quicker than any other Hendrick Motorsports driver, and he did it with half as many winless starts as the next closest driver.

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Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing after the first four races of last season, made his return to the series with Rick Hendrick’s team this season, and he drove his #5 Chevrolet to victory lane in just his fourth start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Terry Labonte had held the team record for quickest victory, winning in his seventh start for the organization back in the 1994 season at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Geoffrey Bodine won in his eighth start for he team, and that came in what was the team’s eighth ever race in their inaugural season in 1984 at Martinsville Speedway. Mark Martin won in his eighth start for the team in 2009 at Phoenix Raceway.

Larson’s win was also the first victory for the number 5 since Kasey Kahne won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2017.

Kyle Larson ends a historic drought. light. Trending

The number 5 hadn’t been used since the 2017 season, as William Byron replaced Kahne ahead of the 2018 season but moved to the #24 Chevrolet, as Chase Elliott moved from the #24 Chevrolet to the #9 Chevrolet.

This year, Larson technically replaced seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson after he retired from NASCAR to move to IndyCar, but it was Alex Bowman who moved from the #88 Chevrolet to the #48 Chevrolet. The #5 Chevrolet was brought back in place of the #88 Chevrolet.

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NASCAR Cup Series action is scheduled to continue on Sunday, March 14 at Phoenix Raceway with the Instacart 500, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.