Tony Stewart has been a long-time fan of Kyle Larson but there is one regret about the Hendrick Motorsports driver that he still keeps to this day.
There was no doubt about the talent that Larson had, But the way he turned up in the 2021 season was beyond most people’s imagination.
After being fired by his team and suspended by NASCAR for the most of 2020 season, it looked like Hendrick Motorsports were taking a sort of gamble with Larson when they signed him.
A year later, with 10 Cup wins and a championship, Larson is already started to be considered in the brackets of the best driver in recent history. What was a gamble turned out to be a bargain for Hendrick Motorsports. Many teams would not be regretting not signing Larson. But none as much regret as Tony Stewart. The Stewart-Haas Racing owner spoke about this regret to not sign Larson for his team.
“I said (damn it) the day that I found out I couldn’t get him. I said it that day, probably in words that I can’t use right now, but I said that a lot that day and have said it every day since then. That will be one of the biggest regrets of my professional career is not getting that kid and having an opportunity to race him in our cars. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime driver.”
It seemed like a match made in heaven for Larson to go to SHR under the guidance of Stewart, who has always been vocal about Larson’s abilities. But in the end, maybe they didn’t push enough to sign Larson when he was available. Every race Larson won and will win is like salt to the wound for Stewart. And given the way that Larson performed in the 2021 season, there is no stopping anytime soon.