Having punched a ticket to Phoenix Raceway as part of the Championship 4, Kyle Larson might be tempted to look past this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway and focus on the bigger prize. However, Larson isn’t going to do that. He proved as much this past weekend at Kansas Speedway where he went out and grabbed another win — his ninth of the season and third in row — despite already being locked into the championship round. So if you think Larson and his No. 5 team aren’t going to be all-in this weekend at NASCAR’s shortest track, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Not only does Larson want to win at Martinsville because it’s a place where he’s never been to Victory Lane, but with a victory on Sunday, he would sweep the Round of 8 and become the first driver since former Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to earn 10 wins in a single Cup Series season. Larson technically has only nine victories this year because his triumph in the non-points-paying All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway doesn’t actually count toward his win total.
“I wish NASCAR would count 10 wins because we have it already,” Larson said after going to Victory Lane last Sunday at Kansas. “It’s just really cool to be mentioned in the same category as Jimmie Johnson. I would love to join them in 10 official wins. But, yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this season. I knew I would have lots of opportunities to get wins. But never did I think I would win as often as we have. Proud of everybody’s hard work all season long. Our execution has always been good. We continue to make that better throughout the year.”