Wednesday, March 22, 2023

2021 NASCAR Cup Champion Kyle Larson Named ‘Best Driver’ in ESPN’s ESPY Awards

Kyle Larson 2022 ESPY's Best Driver Award
Kyle Larson, who won 10 races and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2021, was named the winner of the 2022 ESPY’s “Best Driver” Award. Photo Credit: Tom Copeland/HHP for Chevy Racing

Kyle Larson had an incredible season in 2021 and on Wednesday evening, while he was busy capturing a win in the World of Outlaws event at Port Royal Speedway, Larson was rewarded with the “Best Driver” Award in ESPN’s yearly award show The ESPY’s.

Larson, who was the lone NASCAR driver on the ballot, defeated F1 World Champion Max Verstappen, NHRA Champion Steve Torrence and NTT IndyCar Champion Alex Palou for the honor.

The 29-year old Larson joined Hendrick Motorsports for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season after sitting out most of the 2020 season. The pairing of Larson and Hendrick proved to be dominant as Larson won 10 races and Larson went on to hoist the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Larson’s 10-win season was the first time a driver had won 10 races in a NASCAR Cup Series season since Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat back in the 2007 season.

The ESPY’s have named a “Best Driver” since 1993. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are tied for the most ESPY Best Driver Awards all-time with four each.

Other NASCAR drivers who have achieved the award over the years include: Dale Jarrett (2000), Bobby Labonte (2001), Tony Stewart (2003, 2006, 2012), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2004), Kevin Harvick (2015), Kyle Busch (2016, 2019), and Martin Truex Jr. (2018).

Through 20 races in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, Larson has one win, which came in the second race of the year at Auto Club Speedway. Larson has eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s and currently sits fifth in the driver point standings.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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  1. Kyle Larson is truly proven the Winner of ESPY”S Best Driver Award!! He is of course my favorite driver for the past 2 years, and I root for him in EVERY race he participates in (that is on TV!!)

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