NASCAR & Auto Racing

Kyle Larson considers himself ‘last true racer left’

Kyle Larson waits in his car before practice for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Friday, March 3, 2017.
Kyle Larson waits in his car before practice for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Friday, March 3, 2017. AP

Young Kyle Larson, NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series’ current points leader, is not shy to compare himself to some of the sport’s greats.

The 24-year-old Elk Grove native said he feels like “the last true racer left” in the Monster Energy Cup series, addressing media Friday in Richmond, Va.

“They (other drivers) don’t race nearly as much as I do outside of NASCAR,” Larson said during his pre-practice media session. “And I would race a lot more if I was allowed to. That’s why I feel like I’m the last true racer.”

Perhaps a response to news from earlier this week that star Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to retire at the end of the season, Larson’s claim also included self-comparisons to Mario Andretti and Tony Stewart.

Larson showcased his sprint car racing skills near the Sacramento region two weeks ago, earning a win at Placerville Speedway.

As NASCAR.com’s Zack Albert reported Friday: “In outlining his decision to leave the cockpit, Earnhardt was asked about NASCAR’s ability to reload with a new generational thrust in driver star power. He named Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott among the sport’s several young aces in waiting, offering assurance that the NASCAR roster remained vibrant and strong.”

Larson finished 18th in Friday’s qualifying for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

A few NASCAR fans expressed disagreement with Larson’s “true racer” claim via Twitter, while others considered it accurate.

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