Larson to make Cup debut at CMS

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.


Dover, Del.

Kyle Larson will make his Sprint Cup debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 12.


NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide series at Dover, plus the Truck Series at Las Vegas. See the best scenes from the weekend.

The 21-year-old Elk Grove, Calif., native is scheduled to test the No. 51 Target Chevy for Phoenix Racing on the 1.5-mile track in Concord, N.C., on Tuesday. Crew chief Nick Harrison will oversee the test, but the car will be prepared by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with a Hendrick Motorsports engine.

EGR owner Chip Ganassi announced last month that Larson will replace Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Target Chevy in 2014.

“Obviously, the guy is ready,” Ganassi said on Aug. 30. “Some of the smarter people in the sport have said that maybe a Cup car is more like his style than a Nationwide car. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened. Time will tell, but the guy is ready.”

Larson agreed with the veteran team owner.

“I enjoyed the Cup cars quite a bit at that test,” Larson said of his outing at Rockingham before the season began. “I told people I think they’re going to suit me better than the Nationwide cars.”

Larson is also scheduled to test at Martinsville Speedway Oct. 7-9 with Phoenix Racing in preparation for the Goody’s 500 on Oct. 27.

In his first full-time season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Larson is ninth in the point standings piloting a Chevy for Turner Scott Motorsports. He matched his career NNS best finish of second at Dover International Speedway on Saturday. He delivered the same result at Bristol Motor Speedway in April and Michigan International Speedway in June. Larson has eight top-five's and 15 top 10 finishes in 28 NNS starts.

Larson won the K&N Pro Series East title last year as a rookie. He made his NASCAR truck series debut at Kentucky Speedway in June 2012 and finished 10th. The Drive for Diversity graduate backed up that result with a sixth-place result at Michigan and a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway. In just his fifth career truck start, Larson was victorious at Rockingham Speedway on April 14. In the inaugural truck race at Eldora Speedway in July, Larson finished second to Ryan Newman.

Prior to competing full-time in NASCAR’s Triple-A tour this season, Larson won 30 of the 123 races he competed in last year driving for 22 different owners in Midgets, winged and non-winged Sprints, trucks and stock cars on dirt and asphalt. He had two victories and an average finish of 6.4 in the K&N Pro Series.

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