Kyle Larson found himself in hot water with some NASCAR fans this week when he responded to the World of Outlaws Twitter account during a Q&A session.
Larson, whose first love is all things dirt racing, tweeted he’d like to run full-time with the Outlaws by the time he’s 40. He’s only 25 now and has already been running in the NASCAR Cup Series for five seasons, so that could potentially mean running 20 years in Cup before he leaves.
Still, some fans seemed to be angered by Larson’s tweet, inferring he loves sprint cars more than stock cars. And this isn’t the first time recently Larson has drawn some sensitivity from those in the NACAR world; some were offended in January when Larson said he’d rather win the Chili Bowl than the Daytona 500.
So on Friday at Sonoma Raceway, Larson suggessted he hasn’t communicated well enough what he really means.
“Maybe I don’t do the best job in the world of talking about how much I love NASCAR as much as I do sprint cars — but I do,” Larson said. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love NASCAR racing. I enjoy sprint cars and I feel like I talk about sprint cars a lot just to open people’s eyes to that style of racing because it’s a great form of racing — and so is NASCAR.”
Larson said his goal is to have fans support all forms of motorsports — not just NASCAR and not just sprint cars — because that’s what he does. He loves to race anything on four wheels.
“Most fans get it, but some fans aren’t quite open-minded enough,” he said.
And though Larson wants more NASCAR fans to support grassroots racing, he said it works the other way as well.
“I have multiple fans come up to me each and every night (at a dirt track) and they are like, ‘Man, guys like you and (Christopher) Bell you are the reason why I’m watching NASCAR again,'” he said. “That makes me feel really special. It makes me feel like I’m having an impact when I am going to race that stuff or racing here even.”