NASCAR & Auto Racing

Kyle Larson, Elk Grove in national spotlight with TV specials on rising NASCAR star

Kyle Larson raises his arms after exiting his car after winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race June 18, 2017, in Brooklyn, Mich. Larson returns to Michigan International Speedway for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
Kyle Larson raises his arms after exiting his car after winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race June 18, 2017, in Brooklyn, Mich. Larson returns to Michigan International Speedway for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. AP

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson and his hometown of Elk Grove get star turns on two networks this weekend – not counting coverage of his next race.

Larson, who turned 25 on July 31, currently ranks third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup standings and will try to win his third consecutive race at Michigan International Speedway in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, which will be telecast live at noon Sunday on NBC Sports Network.

After the race at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network will feature Larson in a 30-minute special, “Racing Roots,” hosted by Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood. Celebrating the first anniversary of his first victory at NASCAR’s top level, the special follows Larson around Elk Grove, where his racing career began. Larson takes Petty and Wood to Cycleland Speedway, his favorite Chinese restaurant and home to meet the folks.

“It was a lot of fun bringing Kyle and Rut back to my Northern California roots,” Larson said. “Being able to share my journey and stories from my early racing career really brought back some neat memories. As a 7-year-old kid, messing around on a dirt track, I would never have dreamed I would be standing where I am today.”

Over on ESPN, Sunday’s edition of “E:60” will showcase Larson’s rapid rise in NASCAR, featuring lots of home video of Larson’s early racing days in the Sacramento area. That show will be originally broadcast at 6 a.m. Sunday on ESPN with repeats at 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Ryan McGee of “E:60” reports that Larson’s racing grit grew out of an obsession that started before he could crawl. Although he’s a young rising star, Larson is one of the last “true old-school racers,” three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart told ESPN.

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