Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

June 21, 2013

Recent tragedies in racing world hit hard

Young shoe Larson getting really good, really fast.

(Continued)

On a lighter note, in all the years I’ve been covering races I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better all-around racer than Kyle Larson.

My first recollection of the California sensation was seeing him flipping Jeff Walker’s No. 11W into the turn four fence at Kokomo a couple of seasons ago. At the time I would never have dreamt that a couple years later he would be mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Tony Stewart among others.

To be totally honest, having watched Stewart work his way through the ranks of USAC all the way to NASCAR and everything in between and now Larson I’d say that Larson is the better driver at the same stage of their careers. The kid is simply amazing in whatever he drives.

As an example, Larson raced the latter part of last week in both a sprint car and a midget. Then on Saturday he climbed into his NASCAR Nationwide Series car at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway and went out and finished second in his first season competing in the bigger, heavier cars. A night later he showed up at Kokomo and finished second in his midget ride, then came back a few minutes later aboard a strange sprint car, started in the fifth row, then worked his way to the front to defeat defending USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion Bryan Clauson, who was driving the Tony Stewart Racing Chevy Performance No. 20.

Just 10 days earlier he was at the track competing in the STP World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series against the best of the best winged drivers and had the race pretty well in hand until he got tangled up with a lapped car late in the race. Also in the field that night was Stewart, however about the closest the veteran got to Larson was when the talented youngster was weaving his way through lapped traffic.

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