Kyle Larson's NASCAR Championship Means Parade at Home, Anonymity at Disney

·3 min read
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images
  • Highlights of NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Larson’s post-championship activities have included a parade in his honor in his hometown of Elk Grove, Calif. and a visit to Disneyland.

  • Larson jokingly said he had hoped to create a bigger reaction among the crowds at Disneyland.

  • The drier said he continues to relive the final pit stop at Phoenix, the move that propelled him to the win and the Cup championship.

Music City is Kyle Larson’s city this week.

Fresh from his first NASCAR Cup championship, Larson is a center of attention this week in Nashville, Tennessee—a country music capital and rapidly expanding international city that also has a deep history in stock car racing.

For Larson, who thoroughly dominated this Cup season with 10 victories and an impressive win in the championship finale at Phoenix, the weeks since the last race and the run-up to this week’s big celebration have been all new. And, he said Thursday, quite the fun experience.

“It’s been cool to enjoy all the championship stuff, all the interviews, all the pictures,” he said. “That’s all stuff that you wouldn’t normally enjoy or maybe get bored with, but I’m having fun with it this time.”

Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images

Highlights of Larson’s post-championship activities have included a parade in his honor in his hometown of Elk Grove, Calif. and a visit to Disneyland.

“Going home was awesome,” Larson said. “For the parade, I wasn’t sure how many people would turn out. I was hoping for a lot, but you just don’t know. I didn’t want it to be embarrassingly small. But the turnout surprised me. It was way bigger than I thought.

“And I got to see a lot of familiar faces and some aunts and cousins I hadn’t seen in a while.”

Larson jokingly said he had hoped to create a bigger reaction among the crowds at Disneyland.

Photo credit: Brett Carlsen - Getty Images
Photo credit: Brett Carlsen - Getty Images

“I don’t know if any more people recognize me now that I’m a champion,” he said. “I went to Disneyland and only had a handful of people recognize me, which was cool. I was hoping there was going to be way more pandemonium about me. I was on a VIP tour. I wanted to get that extra special treatment, but there weren’t enough people who knew who I was.”

That is likely to change as Larson begins pursuit of a second championship in February.

Larson said he continues to relive the final pit stop at Phoenix, the move that propelled him to the win and the championship. His Hendrick Motorsports crew returned him to the track first among the title contenders, and it was clear sailing from there to the trophy.

“I’ve watched it 50 times or more,” Larson said. “Everything went perfect. I enjoy watching it to see their (team members) reaction. When they dropped the jack, we all realized we’re going to win this race off pit road. Knowing how important that was in that moment and then seeing everybody’s reactions was cool.”

That moment led to these special moments this week in Nashville.

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