Kyle Larson signed with Hendrick Motorsports prior to the 2021 season, agreeing to bring the iconic No. 5 Chevrolet out of retirement. 21 races and four points-paying wins later, Hendrick Motorsports has rewarded the NASCAR Cup Series driver with a contract extension. Larson is now locked in through 2023.
According to the Associated Press, the contract extension brings with it a dedicated sponsor. HendrickCars.com will serve as Larson’s primary for 35 races over the next two seasons. The dealer website originally wanted all of the sponsorship opportunities, similar to how Ally Racing works with Alex Bowman, but Valvoline already bought three races for the 2022 season.
“When we race on Sunday our people are excited when they get to work on Monday,” Darryl Jackson, vice president of financial services for Hendrick Automotive Group, explained to Jenna Fryer of the AP. “By the water cooler, on the showroom floor, in the service center, they are talking about their car. It is ‘My driver. My team.’
“When you put that together with the business, it just makes sense. More leads sell more cars, right? We’ve got to advertise somewhere, so why not advertise on one of our assets?”
The Sponsorship Deal Includes Extra Events
HendrickCars.com will be Larson’s primary sponsor for the vast majority of NASCAR races over the next two years, but the company is not stopping with the Cup Series. The AP revealed that the dealership website will also sponsor Larson in all of his dirt races and non-NASCAR events.
The deal includes logos on his dirt cars, helmets, gloves, and firesuits. Larson has achieved considerable success away from NASCAR tracks, including 10 wins so far. He has 56 wins at dirt tracks since 2020, a number that will only increase in the coming months.
“It’s just an awesome time for me,” Larson said in a statement from HMS. “[I’m] very thankful for everybody at HendrickCars.com and Hendrick Automotive Group, Mr. H [and] everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. I look forward to the next couple of years, and hopefully a lot more years here down the road. I look forward to it and I look forward to a lot more wins, hopefully.”
The Extension Continues a Redemption Season for Larson
The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro missed the majority of the 2020 season after using a racial slur in a virtual race. Chip Ganassi Racing fired Larson while sponsors such as Chevrolet and McDonald’s cut ties with him.
The Cup Series driver completed mandatory NASCAR training and then spent countless hours of his own time putting in extra work to repair the damage and make an impact with The Sanneh Foundation and the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia.
According to Fryer, Larson signed with HMS “on the cheap” after his suspension for the racial slur. He had limited options to get back to the Cup Series, as well as very few interested sponsors. However, HendrickCars.com used the opportunity to purchase ad space, resulting in massive spikes in traffic to the site after Larson’s wins.
HendrickCars.com covered the No. 5 Chevrolet for three of the five trips to Victory Lane in 2021. However, the list does not include the wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. Now the dealer will not have to worry about any missed opportunities.