Found January 06, 2013 on
Last week, Kiwis discovered what the American racing community already knows -- Kyle Larson is a wheelman.
"Kyle Larson is a freak..." topped one of the message boards on the Macgors New Zealand Speedway website after the 20-year-old Elk Grove, Calif., native put on a show to close out 2012 and begin the new year.
Before Larson returned to the United States on Sunday, he went four for four in the International Midget World Series, which started on Dec. 29 at Western Springs Speedway. The Auckland track crowned him "King of the Springs" after he won the third feature -- a 40-lap race on Jan. 1.
In 123 starts last year, Larson drove for 22 different owners in midgets, winged and non-winged sprints, trucks and stock cars. He won 30 times in seven different-style cars on 20 different tracks, including dirt and pavement. Larson finished fifth in USAC's Midget division. He is also the defending champion in the K&N Pro Series East, in which he won two races and posted an average finish of 6.4.
Larson is one of 16 finalists from 13 series in the running for the Mario Andretti Trophy awarded to the Speed Performer of the Year on Jan. 27.
Although Larson's 2013 NASCAR plans have not been finalized yet, last year the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver campaigned in the Camping World Truck Series for the newly renamed Turner Scott Motorsports (which is rumored as the front-runner for his services). In four truck series starts, Larson posted a career-best finish of second in November at Phoenix Raceway, where he led 43 of 153 circuits. He qualified second for the season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway and led a race-high 48 of 140 laps before he was collected by Ty Dillon and finished 27th.
Larson's whirlwind tour rolls on to Tulsa, Okla., for the 27th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Larson will look to defend his title in the 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying feature on Tuesday that kicks off the prestigious event.
Whether Larson can knock off three-time Chili Bowl champ Kevin Swindell and a cast of superstars including Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Sammy Swindell and Cory Kruseman remains to be seen. But considering that he bested USAC Triple Crown winner Dave Darland, Kruseman and Bryan Clauson during the International Midget World Series in New Zealand, it will be fun to watch.
BEST OF MAXIM
Cincinnati strong safety Chris Crocker is inactive for the Bengals AFC wild-card playoff game against Houston.
Crocker missed practice all week with a thigh injury. Nate Clements is scheduled to start in his place.
Houston's Barrett Ruud will start at inside linebacker for Tim Dobbins, who was placed on injured reserve Friday with an ankle injury. Cornerback Alan Ball is active...
There is going to be plenty of debate over the coming off-season over whether Marvin truly is the man to take this franchise into the future and beyond merely making the playoffs. It is a debate worth having. If you belong to the anti-Marvin camp, you have plenty of ammunition to use as you make your case.
But if your debate is centered around the 2013 season, you are wasting your...
Another Cincinnati Bengals player has found trouble with the law.Bengals safety Robert Sands is facing a fourth degree domestic violence charge after being arrested Friday morning following an altercation with his wife. The 23-year old has since been released from jail and is slated to appear in court January 18.Police responded to a local 911 call at around 11:00 a.m. involving...
The Cincinnati Bengals just suffered another play off loss. Of course Bengals fans are already calling for a GM, new coaches, and another QB. This team, however, is a team on the rise, as most serious football fans can see.Owner Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis have effectively put together a very solid core of young, talented players. Andy Dalton has put up numbers that rival...
Here are the inactive lists for the Bengals and Texans with just over an hour until kick-off:
Bengals: CB Jason Allen, TE Richard Quinn, DT Devon Still, DT Brandon Thompson, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, RB Daniel “Boom” Herron, and S Chris Crocker
Texans: OT Antoine Caldwell, FB Tyler Clutts, CB Roc Carmichael, OL Andrew Gardner, CB Stanford Routt, OL Cody White, and NT Terrell...
The unholy stinkfest played by the Bengals’ offense in Houston on Saturday has turned Bengals fans into a far less endearing version of Bob Wiley from one of my favorite comedies, What About Bob: neurotic and intensely needy.
Yes, the performance by Gruden’s crew was about as appetizing as a persimmon-flavored sucker chased by a stick of the dirt-flavored gum you passed off on...
Cincinnati has been in the playoffs four times in the past eight years. Why does that sound wrong? Why does that not command more respect? Possibly because each of those four times, the Bengals have swiftly exited via an unwatchable loss. The best you can say about this one is at least it wasn’t by multiple scores, which was the case with the previous three. The Texans were practically...
NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports that the Cardinals are set to interview current Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden for their vacant head coaching position.
The Cardinals had been favorites to land Andy Reid as their next head coach, but since then they have remained quiet. The team will interview Gruden this week after the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs for...
Couldn't stop Arian Foster. Couldn't make that one big play when it was right at their fingertips. And, in an ending so sickeningly familiar, the Bengals couldn't break one of the NFL's longest streaks of playoff futility.
Plenty of blame to go around for this one.
Andy Dalton overthrew an open A.J. Green in the end zone in the closing minutes, and the Houston Texans...