Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson came up two seconds short of winning his second NASCAR Cup Series championship, but he still ended the year on a high note.
The No. 5 Chevrolet driver finished runner-up to champion Ryan Blaney in the standings with his third-place finish in the season finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway on Nov. 5.
It was Larson’s second-highest finish in the Cup Series standings, with his best being his championship run in 2021.
Larson won four races during the 36-race season — including a spring victory at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, his first career win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, another at the playoff opener in Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and a final one at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
He also garnered 15 top fives, 18 top 10s and led 1,127 laps over the year.
“My team did a really good job all season. I’m extremely proud of them. We had an up and down year, and we finally put together two solid weeks in a row. I don’t know if we’ve done that all year,” Larson said following the season finale. “We’ll come back next year and try to be stronger.”
The 31-year-old will contest his 10th full-time season in the Cup Series next year.