Kyle Larson finally broke his bridesmaid curse and won Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Auto Club Speedway. Larson also opened up his points lead over Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. Mentioned by the FOX NASCAR broadcasters, but mostly kicked under the rug, Larson has become the most recent California kid to exceed the southern stars.
Through NASCAR’s history, the greatest drivers have historically come from the southern states. Whether it was the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama or Virginia, the best came from Dixie. This gave us personalities that we will never forget and gave NASCAR the backbone to becoming what it is today. Drivers like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and the Allison’s, just to name a few, dominated the sport for most of its early decades.
Presently, California has become the new Dixie for NASCAR. Yes, the sport still dominates the south, with a big number of its fan base and events in that part of the country; the drivers, not so much anymore. California has given us drivers that have absolutely knocked the socks off the competition. Competitors like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson all call the Golden State home. Between those drivers, they have won a total of 12 premier series championships, with Kyle Larson looking like he may add his name to that list sooner than later.
The south still produces talented young guys and gals, most notably, Chase Elliott. With that being said, we’re gonna be California dreaming for a long time.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today (via albanyherald.com)