NASCAR: A 65-year streak may be on Kyle Larson’s shoulders

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Not since 1957 have the Formula 1, IndyCar, and NASCAR Cup Series champions all won the championship in a previous year together.

Two situations have become quite common throughout the summer in open-wheel racing: Max Verstappen dominating another Formula 1 race for Red Bull, and Alex Palou scoring another statement IndyCar win for Chip Ganassi Racing.

With 11 wins, Verstappen now owns a 138-point lead over teammate Sergio Perez in the standings through the first 13 races on the 22-race 2023 schedule, having now won a record-tying nine races in a row.

With four wins an no finishes worse than eighth place, Palou now owns a 74-point lead over teammate Scott Dixon in the standings through the first 15 races on the 17-race 2023 schedule, positioning himself to become the first driver to secure a championship before the season finale since Dan Wheldon did so in 2005.

Both drivers have long been overwhelming favorites to win their respective championships at FanDuel Sportsbook, where all fans can currently claim $200 just for betting $5.

In fact, many sportsbooks have recently taken down championship odds for Formula 1 and IndyCar because of just how big their leads have gotten.

And that’s where NASCAR and Kyle Larson could come into play.

Should Verstappen and Palou hold onto their massive leads to win their respective open-wheel championships this year, a Kyle Larson Cup Series championship would mark the first time in 66 years that the three champions in these series have all won titles together multiple times.

It has only happened once, and that was back in 1957. Juan Manuel Fangio won the Formula 1 world championship, Buck Baker won the Cup Series championship, and Jimmy Bryan won the USAC Championship Car title.

Those same three drivers also won their respective titles in 1956. If Verstappen, Palou, and Larson all win their respective titles in 2023, it would mark the first time such an occurrence has happened not in back-to-back years. They were all crowned champions in 2021.

Despite ending the regular season in seventh place in the Cup Series point standings following a slew of unfortunate recent mishaps, Larson too finds himself as one of the betting favorites to win his championship entering the four-round, 10-race playoffs.

Ahead of this Sunday night’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, FanDuel lists him at +550 to win a second title, tying him with teammate William Byron as the second favorite behind Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

Can Larson do over the next 10 weeks what Verstappen and Palou look poised to do in the more immediate future and lock up a second title? Start a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss any of the upcoming action!