MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Kyle Larson confirmed Friday afternoon that his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series team, Kyle Larson Racing, will close following the end of the season.
Next month’s World of Outlaws Last Call, Nov. 6-7 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, will mark the final two events for the team owned by the 28-year-old Elk Grove, Calif., native.
The move comes after seven seasons of full-time competition with The Greatest Show on Dirt, and hits the press amid rumors of Larson returning to NASCAR next year. He is considered by many in the industry as a frontrunner for a seat at Hendrick Motorsports.
“We have made the very tough decision to close Kyle Larson Racing upon the conclusion of the 2020 season,” Larson said in a statement released by the World of Outlaws. “It has been a difficult year for everyone amid COVID-19, which is one of a handful of factors that led to this choice.
“My commitment to sprint car racing, and grassroots racing as a whole, remains as strong as ever. Owning a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team brought me great satisfaction,” Larson continued. “It was a thrill to compete as an owner, and I am blessed and honored to have had the opportunity. As sad as this moment is, we’re thankful of the support of so many great partners. All were crucial in allowing us to finish the season with our driver, Carson Macedo, and the entire No. 2 team.”
Kyle Larson Racing was born as Larson Marks Racing in 2013, with Oklahoma veteran Shane Stewart driving and Larson as a co-owner of the team alongside Justin Marks.
In five seasons with the team, 2014 through 2018, Stewart won 28 times with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
Stewart finished fourth in points with LMR in 2015 and 2016. All told, he earned 137 top-five and 250 top-10 finishes in 343 WoO feature starts in Larson-owned equipment.
Larson assumed full ownership of the organization in 2018, rebranding it as Kyle Larson Racing, and hired fellow Californian Carson Macedo to pilot the No. 2 sprint car full time with the Outlaws the next year.
Since joining the squad at the start of 2019, Macedo has earned five Outlaw wins, 29 top fives and 84 top 10s in 121 feature starts driving for Kyle Larson Racing.
While Larson remains proud of all his team has accomplished throughout its history, he took specific pride in giving Macedo a chance to fulfill his World of Outlaws dreams.
“I always told myself that if I ever got the chance to own a sprint car team, I wanted to give someone an opportunity like I had. I saw that in Carson – a California kid just like me who loves dirt racing and drives hard every single night,” Larson explained. “We’re incredibly proud of Carson and everything he’s accomplished while racing for KLR, and we wish him all the best as he continues his career.
“You can’t win races without a stellar crew behind you, so a big thank you goes to Joe Gaerte, Trey Bowman and Patrick Dudzinski for the tireless work they’ve put in day after day. I know what a grind the (Outlaw) schedule can be, and our guys are some of the best in the business.”
Larson then turned his focus back to the very beginning, nodding to his original partner for involving him in owning a sprint car team in the first place.
“Getting into team ownership didn’t just happen. There is a long list of great people and partners who made all of this possible. First is Justin Marks, as we both shared a passion for winged sprint car racing,” Larson noted. “Justin pulled me into team ownership in 2013 as a partner with Larson Marks Racing. LMR turned into KLR in 2018, and our World of Outlaws team wouldn’t have been possible without great sponsors in Tarlton and Son Inc., Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions, GoPro Motorplex and Lucas Oil. Many other partners helped along the way, including Durst, Weld Wheels, SRI Performance, Allstar Performance and Howard Johnson of Lima, Ohio.
“Additionally, I want to thank the World of Outlaws for everything they do. It truly is the Greatest Show on Dirt. I will always be a huge supporter of the tour, and I thank them for allowing me to be a part of their series, both as an owner and as a driver.”
For those worried that the end of Larson’s tenure as a car owner might spell the end of his driving days with the World of Outlaws, Larson was quick to dismiss those thoughts.
“While I will no longer be an owner in the series, I will continue to be out there racing whenever I can in the No. 57 car for Silva Motorsports,” said Larson, a 20-time World of Outlaws winner who has earned 12 Outlaw victories in 24 starts this year. “Competing in the World of Outlaws is such a rewarding experience because of the enthusiasm the race fans have for the sport and its personalities.
“It’s something myself and my family have always appreciated and will never take for granted.”