After Chili Bowl victory, Kyle Larson has Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race victory as a bucket list item
Kyle Larson ended more than 13 years of frustration last weekend when he raced to victory in the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The popular indoor dirt sprint car race in the middle of winter brings race car drivers from all corners of the world to compete for the elusive Golden Driller trophy.
NASCAR Cup Series standout Larson, who has tried tirelessly to win the ultra-competitive midget event since 2006, was emotional after finally getting it done. The wait was worth it and the win was even sweeter because he held off rival Christopher Bell to take the victory. Bell had won the race the last three years.
"There's nothing like winning any race, especially a big one," Larson said. "The Chili Bowl is the biggest one that I've won. To win this race is something that I'll never forget."
When veteran motorsports journalist Lee Spencer interviewed Larson after the race he revealed that he has three major races at the top of his personal bucket list.
He said one of his coveted trio is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"For whatever reason, the Chili Bowl and Knoxville and the Bristol Night Race mean the most to me," Larson told Spencer, covering the event for RacinBoys.com.
Since entering the Cup Series, Larson has had similar luck trying to win at Bristol. In 12 Cup starts he has finished second two times, both coming during his 2018 visits to The Last Great Colosseum. He has won two poles and has seven top-10 finishes.
Larson's second place finish in the 2018 Night Race to eventual winner Kurt Busch helped the lore of that race and left many fans craving more thrilling action on the all-concrete high-banks. Many fans called that race "An Instant Classic" and Larson famously said, "Bristol is a badass place," during his post-race interview.
"I think Bristol is just (an) awesome race," Larson said. "If we could race here every Saturday and Sunday our grandstands would be packed and our T.V. ratings would be very high, so let's build more Bristols."
Certainly, riding the wave of success following his Chili Bowl Nationals win, this could be the year that Larson finally gets it done at Bristol. The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, held Saturday, Sept. 19, is the first cut-off race in the NASCAR Playoffs in 2020 and the drama and intensity will be elevated for sure.
Before September, however, Larson will have an opportunity to capture a famed Bristol Gladiator Sword and the mega-tall signature BMS trophy when he takes his No. 42 Chevy into battle in the 60th running of the Food City 500, April 5th.
For tickets to the Food City 500, call (423) BRISTOL or purchase your tickets online at www.BristolTix.com.