Even though he didn’t deliver the kind of dominant performance at Fontana that he so often did on the way to his 2021 Cup Series championship, Kyle Larson still went to Victory Lane. That’s a pretty encouraging sign for the Hendrick Motorsports driver and his No. 5 team, who by virtue of winning have already punched a ticket to the 2022 playoffs. Even though this year’s new Next Generation Cup car may have taken away some of the advantage that Larson held last season, it appears that Larson is poised for another impressive campaign.
“It definitely feels good to get a win early on in the year because going to a new car, you don’t know if you’re going to win or not,” Larson said. “But I mean, you have confidence in your race team. It was neat at Fontana to see some guys who don’t typically run up front run up front and contend for the win. You had some more players or some different players, I guess, than you maybe would have had in the past. That part of it’s neat to see. I think that’ll probably change as we go along with the season, but for right now, it’s pretty cool to see.”
After leading just 28 laps at ACS, Larson hopes for even better days in the weeks ahead — including this Sunday at Las Vegas where he’s the defending race winner. “Who knows, but I think your teams with more resources and more people and more engineers and stuff like that will still have the edge over the other teams, even though we’re all kind of racing the same car,” Larson said. “But just we’ll be able to build a notebook, hopefully, a little quicker than others and get back to dominating like we did last year.”