Kyle Larson had plenty of reasons to smile about last season, when he scored the first NASCAR Premier Series win of his career and also registered career highs in top fives (10), top 10s (15) and laps led (379).
Here are five keys to him building on that to put together a successful 2017 season:
It's great that Larson was able to score the first win of his career in NASCAR's top series at Michigan last summer.
But now he needs to build on that and finish more of what he starts. There were several other races where he was in position to close the deal and failed to do so over the last three seasons.
Avoid bad days
Larson did a pretty good job of this to make NASCAR's playoffs for the first time last year.
But after winning at Michigan and then finishing third at Darlington and second at Richmond in another race he could have won to mark himself as a favorite heading into the playoffs, he bombed out in the first round because of an 18th-place finish at New Hampshire and a 25th at Dover, where he had finished second earlier in the season.
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Build on chemistry
Last year was Larson's first season with Chad Johnston as his crew chief, and they obviously clicked.
Sometimes it's hard to remember that Larson is only 24 years old and just now entering his fourth full-time Cup season as driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. If he can continue to build on the chemistry that began to blossom with Johnston last season, this could be a big year.
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Find more speed
It's no secret that for much of last seaosn, the Ganassi cars simply lacked the speed of some of the bigger teams that no doubt will be fast again in this upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
The company appeared to close the gap as last season went on, but will need to be more on the ball earlier this season -- and then again late, when the playoffs commence -- if Larson is to have a chance to run with the big dogs all year.
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Live up to the hype
Larson obviously is extremely talented. It could be argued that no one in NASCAR runs the high line as frequently or as efficiently as he does, and that makes him exciting to watch.
But now it's time for him to live up to expectations. He's got his first Cup win. He's been to the playoffs. Now it's time to step up and show he can win multiple times and truly compete for a championship.