Kyle Larson is a rising star in NASCAR. The 21-year-old completed his first full season in the Nationwide Series this weekend, racking up four second-place finishes, nine top-five finishes, and 17 top-10 finishes — which was good enough to earn Larson the Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award. He's the first Japanese-American to be named Rookie of the Year, as well as the first member of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program to win the honor.
Larson has had the attention of the racing world for a few years. He has been compared to racing icons Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, and has been called NASCAR's next great driver. Gordon himself has said he's "blown away" by Larson's talent behind the wheel. "He makes me look like nothing," Gordon said earlier this year. "The kid is really spectacular. I think he's the rawest, most talented race car driver that I know of."
Next season, racing fans will see how good Larson really is. He makes the jump to the Sprint Cup, driving the No. 42 Chevy SS for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. (He's currently a development driver on the team.) And for a sport that has struggled to attract young people, Larson could be the boost NASCAR needs to turn into its next great era.
Sports Illustrated Kids spoke to Larson on November 8, a day after he helped unveil a newly renovated library at Palm Lane Elementary School in Phoenix. He talked about the event, his career in racing, and his excitement for climbing into the No. 42 car next season.
History was made in Virginia on Saturday when NASCAR driver Darrell Wallace, Jr., won the Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 race at Martinsville Speedway. By claiming the checkered flag, Wallace became only the second black driver to ever win a NASCAR touring series race. The only other black driver to do that was Wendell Scott in 1963.
When Scott won, his victory came in Florida during the days of segregation. That meant he was kept out of Victory Lane. But 50 years later, Wallace celebrated like any other driver who won his first race — alongside his team and with tons of excitement!
NASCAR drive Joey Logano is a champ on the track, but how will he stand up against the demands of a TV show? We'll find out tonight at 9 p.m. when Logano guest stars on the Disney XD show Lab Rats! But before he makes his big Disney debut, Logano took some time to share some of his favorite things with SI Kids. Check out the list below, then watch a preview of his appearance on Lab Rats!
When I was younger I played little league baseball with the hope of eventually cranking homers out of Yankee Stadium as a pro. A lot of kids today do the same thing. But not all sports have such widespread youth opportunities.
If you want to grow up to race NASCAR’s best speedsters, you have a much tougher road ahead. Racing Dreams, a new documentary debuting on PBS tonight, follows three kids trying to break into the professional racing circuit and all of the problems that accompany that dream.
Hold on to your seats! The SI Kids IN YOUR FACE 3D App is throwing you right into the action. You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate the exciting 3D photographs that jump out from your iPad. Based on the popular book, these 3D photos will truly make you feel like you’re part of the game. Get ready to catch a pass from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, block a shot with NBA star Carlos Boozer, and cruise down a mountain with Olympic snowboarders.
You guys should know the drill by now: every now and again, I use the space afforded to me at SIKIDS.com to point out some of the finest young sports talent in the country (And for those of you that don't know... check here. And here).
This week, I'd like to show some love to a youngster on the NASCAR circuit.
"Why NASCAR, Duane From NJ" (I can hear you!)? Well, because Sergio Pena -- in addition to the fact that he's arguably the finest driver yet to roll out of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program (an initiative designed to increase the number of qualified minorities driving and working inside NASCAR) -- has managed to make a name for himself in racing circles at an age when he should be busy finishing his homework.
The 16-year-old debuted in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series, the top developmental series in the land, late last month, finishing second at the Toyota All-Star Showdown and giving 19-year-old phenom (and TAS Showdown winner) Joey Logano all he could handle in the process. Had he won, Pena would've become the youngest driver ever to finish first at the Toyota All-Star Showdown, smashing Logano's current record by a full year.More »
Just in case there wasn't already enough coolness streaming across television screens this weekend (NBA All-Star Weekend, 2010 Winter Olympics), Nike has decided to make all of our viewing choices even more complicated with a new commercial. It's not supposed to air until tonight... but this is the internet age! Who waits to see commercials on TV nowadays?
This one's called Human Chain, and is meant to showcase the determination and drive that can be found in all great athletes, regardless of sport.More »