Kyle Larson is looking forward to learning from new Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch. And Larson may even be able to teach Busch a few lessons.
Calling in from Tulsa, Oklahoma, home of this week’s Chili Bowl, Larson appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” Thursday.
“Being a teammate with a champion is really cool,” Larson said of being paired with the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion. “I think I’ll be able to learn a lot off him. I think he’s going to push me to be a better race car driver, really. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“I’m excited to learn from him and how he gets around Martinsville and the road courses and during the races and stuff like that. Those are my biggest weak points and I feel like those are some of his strongest race tracks.
“Kurt has always been very into knowing about his race cars. I think he’ll be able to have some input on changes to our chassis or anything on our race cars to try and help us out at places where he thinks we might struggle.”
Due to offseason schedule conflicts, Larson and Busch haven’t been able to spend much time together yet. But the new teammates are slated to get together once Larson returns to the Charlotte area after the Chili Bowl concludes Saturday night.
And while Larson is looking forward to Busch’s mentorship, he also feels he can maybe teach Busch a few things, as well.
“I think the style of racing has changed some from, say, a decade ago,” Larson said. “There’s a lot of younger, it seems like, really aggressive drivers out there.
“Just with (Busch) being able to see me and my aggression even more so up-close and being on the same team and looking at the driver data, yeah, maybe there’s some things he can learn.”
Larson admits because he’s been focused during the offseason on racing both in the U.S. and overseas, including the Chili Bowl, he hasn’t spent much time thinking about the 2019 NASCAR Cup season.
But that’s about to change.
“I don’t really think about NASCAR season until the checkered flag waves here on Saturday,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good year for us. The rules package is going to be way different, so I’m not really sure what to expect there and how we’ll be, but I’m looking forward to get going.”