Today, in “is someone cutting onions nearby?” news, Kyle Larson opted to dedicate his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win to his the family of racer and friend Bryan Clauson. Clauson passed away earlier this month from injuries sustained in a dirt track crash.
Larson told NBCSN:
I was teared-up that whole last few laps because I could just feel it. It was finally going to be it. This one is for the Clauson family. We really miss Bryan. We love you guys. We’re going to miss him. We parked it for him, so that’s really cool.
Larson beat fellow rookie Chase Elliott to the finish line by a mere 1.479 seconds after leading 41 laps of the race, per Motorsport.com. Once it was over, Larson burned up his tires in a spectacular steering-wheel-less burnout. This was his 99th race in Sprint Cup, and Larson became the third first-time winner of the weekend for all three of NASCAR’s national traveling series.
Larson and Clauson were both avid dirt racers. Sadly, Clauson’s goal of competing in 200 races in 2016 was cut short on his 117th race at the Belleville Midget Nationals. He was widely considered one of the most talented dirt racers in the country.