CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This offseason is different for Kyle Larson in one big way.
For the first time in four years of racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Larson doesn’t have to worry about getting his first win.
Larson finally earned his first Cup victory at Michigan International Speedway last August. The victory was the first for Chip Ganassi Racing since 2013.
But Larson doesn’t feel any different heading into the 2017 season than he did the previous three offseasons.
“I just continue to want to win,” Larson said Wednesday at the NASCAR Media Tour. “Wanting to win the second win is just as important as wanting to win the first win, to me. So yeah, it doesn’t feel any different. I’m just going to go out there and try to do the best job I can every single week and hopefully we can get some more wins this year.”
Larson’s win put him in the playoffs for the first time with teammate Jamie McMurray, though both were eliminated after the first round. What will it take for Ganassi to capitalize on its most successful season in more than four years?
“I don’t know if there is one thing you can pinpoint,” Larson said. “I think everything needs to be better. Aero. To be a championship team, you need to just be better than everybody at everything. I could do a better job at executing. Our pit calls could be better. I’m not saying that anything is bad, but I’m saying that everything could be a little bit better to gain lap time and improve on finishes. So, we just try to focus hard and dig down deep to make everything a little bit better.”
As in seasons past, Larson won’t confine his racing schedule to the Cup Series this year. The 24-year-old driver will continue to pursue his passion of dirt racing.
Ganassi is permitting Larson to compete in 25 non-Cup races this year and he’s already used up three of those. Larson says he will have to find more mid-week sprint races to fit into his busy NASCAR schedule.
“This season, it’s harder to find races because last year worked out perfectly the way the NASCAR season was, at least where the off-weekends fell,” Larson said. “I got to run six nights of Ohio Speedweek with the All-Stars. I got to run the Knoxville Nationals. But this year, I probably only get to run two nights of (Ohio) Speedweek and maybe I can run Oskaloosa (Southern Iowa Speedway) during Nationals week. I’ll probably do a couple nights of Midget Week again. It will just be harder to find races.”