CONCORD, N.C. -- Hendrick Motorsports is ready to hit the ground running with Kyle Larson. The 28-year-old driver will pilot the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE next season after he was signed by the organization in October. Hendrick Motorsports president Marshall Carlson called Larson a wonderful addition to the team and is already laying the groundwork for his success.
“He’s just an incredible talent, so we’re very excited about having him join the organization,” Carlson said on SiriusXM. “We are putting all the foundation in place. Kyle actually watched the Phoenix race from the operation center at Hendrick Motorsports campus. I kind of got a chuckle when I thought about it; that’ll probably be the last time in his career he’ll be able to do that.
“But he got that perspective, and there is a lot of excitement here – really on many fronts coming into the 2021 season.”
The addition of Larson isn’t the only big change within Hendrick Motorsports. No. 24 crew chief Chad Knaus will be moving into an executive role during the offseason. Carlson lauded Knaus for being one of the most “amazing minds in racing” and said he will be key in working on future concepts with Hendrick Motorsports.
“We really created kind of a senior working group with Chad, with (No. 9 crew chief) Alan Gustafson and with (vice president) Jeff Andrews, and we had set that in place at the beginning of this season,” Carlson said. “Those are really our most senior competition leaders. (We’re) thinking about some future planning and how we ought to run the play on different initiatives, like the Next Gen car, and all sorts of things.”
Aside the addition of Larson and Knaus moving into a new role, Hendrick Motorsports will kick off the 2021 season with other exciting changes. The No. 24 team will bring on Rudy Fugle as its crew chief, Alex Bowman and the No. 88 crew will move to No. 48 team and Chase Elliott will be the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion.
According to Carlson, the sky is the limit within the organization.
“On so many fronts, we’re excited to come into 2021,” he said. “Some great things coming together with Chevrolet, our big partner in racing, and new talent coming in and performance being there. One thing I would really want to reinforce is the gratitude that we have at Hendrick and all the teams really have for NASCAR and the work that they did.
“(A) huge thank you and credit to monumental effort and results that NASCAR made in getting us to the finish line in the 2020 season. I think that’ll go down as one of the most amazing stories of this year for me.”