•   
  •   
  •   

Sport Report: Kyle Larson leading candidate to replace Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports

00:10  18 september  2020
00:10  18 september  2020 Source:   yardbarker.com

Denny Hamlin wins Busch Pole Award for playoff race at Talladega

  Denny Hamlin wins Busch Pole Award for playoff race at Talladega Denny Hamlin won the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The lineup was determined using NASCAR’s competition-based formula, which is a total number based on the previous event: 15% of a fastest lap time […]RELATED: Learn more about the new lineup formula | ADVANCING through the playoffs

Kyle Larson has been tearing up the dirt racing world since his suspension from NASCAR in April. While many have speculated he would not return for the 2021 season, Larson might be on his way to rejoining NASCAR with a top organization.

Kyle Larson riding on the back of a motorcycle: NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson is currently suspended. © Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson is currently suspended.

According to The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi, Larson is viewed as the leading candidate to replace Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports in 2021.

Hendrick Motorsports promotes Knaus, who will leave crew-chief role after 2020

  Hendrick Motorsports promotes Knaus, who will leave crew-chief role after 2020 Falcons head coach Dan Quinn answered how confident he is that Atlanta will be able to correct what led to blown fourth quarter leads in back-to-back weeks and an 0-3 record.

While it does not mean he will take over the famed No. 48 car, it indicates Larson may replace a NASCAR legend after all of the controversies since his suspension.

Why would Hendrick Motorsports pick Larson?

If Hendrick Motorsports decided to sign Larson, it would be met with a tremendous PR hit. With other options such as Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace available, it could be argued that there are easier targets. However, the 28-year-old from Elk Grove, Calif., has the talent that no current free agent can replicate.

Jones and Wallace have their appeals, but Wallace might be headed to Gaunt Brothers Racing. If the move happens, it leaves Jones as the easy plug-in driver. However, Jones has struggled at Joe Gibbs Racing. That team's equipment has been better than Hendrick Motorsports, but it hasn’t translated to playoff success for the 24-year-old driver.

Chad Knaus, one of NASCAR's most successful crew chiefs, on his decision to leave the pit box

  Chad Knaus, one of NASCAR's most successful crew chiefs, on his decision to leave the pit box Jimmie Johnson retiring at the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season isn't the only major change in Hendrick Motorsports' future. Chad Knaus is leaving the pit box to become an executive with the team, Hendrick announced Tuesday. Working together from 2002…Working together from 2002 to 2018, Knaus and Johnson were an unparalleled and dominant duo and won seven championships together. But after the 2018 season, the iconic pair broke up, and Knaus became the crew chief for William Byron and Hendrick’s No. 24 Chevrolet team.

With no sponsorship, Jones hasn’t shown enough to land the ride. Larson is the only driver who contains the abilities to mask the sponsorship concerns. He has six wins with Chip Ganassi Racing, which is typically viewed as having mid-tier equipment. Outside of the controversy surrounding him, many view Larson’s skills as a once-in-a-generation talent.

How would this work with Chevrolet dropping him?

Chevrolet terminated its relationship with Larson due to his iRacing incident in April. This does not mean he's forbidden from driving for the team again. In fact, if there is an owner who can convince Chevrolet to let Larson drive for it, it’s Rick Hendrick.

If Hendrick really wants him, it would be hard to say no to one of the sport’s most prominent figures.

It seems unlikely that Ally would want to tag along with Larson if he were to come to Hendrick Motorsports due to its emphasis on diversity. Perhaps the easier solution would be sliding over Alex Bowman or William Byron into the No. 48, with Ally and giving Larson the vacant seat. Larson could bring sponsorship with him to Hendrick Motorsports, or Hendrick could fund it out of his pockets. Eventually, Larson could gain sponsorships if he runs at the level people think he can. Winning solves a lot of issues.

NASCAR lineup at Las Vegas: Starting order, pole for Sunday's race without qualifying

  NASCAR lineup at Las Vegas: Starting order, pole for Sunday's race without qualifying The starting lineup and pole for Sunday night's NASCAR race at Las Vegas were set by a specific formula. Here are the results.The starting grid for Sunday's race at Las Vegas, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NBCSN, features some of this season's top drivers at the front of the field. It is the result of a relatively new formula that takes into account finishing position from the previous race, team owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race to set the lineup.

Larson’s potential reinstatement shouldn’t be an issue. Once he formally asks to be reinstated, the process will be quick. He completed his sensitivity training for NASCAR and has been trying to learn from his mistake behind the scenes. After the 2020 season, Larson will have served a 32-race suspension.

The bottom line

Hendrick Motorsports needs to figure out what it is doing for the future. Hiring the wrong driver to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson could set the team back for years to come.

Hendrick knows it needs to make a splash this offseason. The team cannot remain complacent and settle for a driver who does not fit. The driver needs to be cheap, talented and compete for a championship right away.

Kyle Larson checks off what Hendrick Motorsports needs to return to dominant form, and it might believe that too.

Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸

More must-reads:

'We continue to pray': Joe Biden offers thoughts, prayers to President Trump for speedy recovery after coronavirus test

  'We continue to pray': Joe Biden offers thoughts, prayers to President Trump for speedy recovery after coronavirus test Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden offered his thoughts and prayers Friday after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. Your browser does not support this video "Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery," Biden, a former vice president, said in a tweet. "We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family." © Andrew Harnik, AP Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden stops to speak to members of the media as he walks out of the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del.

  • Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson wins WNBA MVP
  • Padres-Mariners series relocated to San Diego due to air quality issues
  • The 'Daytona 500 winners' quiz

Related slideshow: The most notorious sports feuds of all time (Provided by Yardbarker)


Gallery: Recapping every NASCAR championship contender's season in one GIF (SMG)

Denzel Washington looking at the camera: Points: 2000 Wins: 0 Top-5 finishes: 2 Most recent win: N/A  The biggest moment for Matt DiBenedetto's playoff hopes was when Jimmie Johnson was involved in a wreck in the regular-season finale at Daytona on Saturday. With Johnson out, the No. 21 Ford driver was able to slide into the final playoff spot after William Byron's checkered flag. DiBenedetto is just thrilled to be invited to the party.

Elimination on the line at Talladega for Gander Truck Series .
Fearless Forecast Week 4: 4 Rec, 59 Yds Projected Points: 10.6

usr: 1
This is interesting!