Larson made the comments prior to the practice sessions leading into the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum. He explained during a media session at the historic stadium that winning races is important, but momentum is just as critical when trying to put a team into championship contention.
“I think it’s always important to start the year off strong,” Larson said during his media availability. “There’s been years where I’ve struggled the first year, and kind of like you’re digging yourself out of a hole from the very beginning.
“Although it’s a long season, it’s definitely important to get off to a good start and shape the scope of your season and how you prepare for each race, and how you call each race. The goal is to win every race, but early in the year, you want to finish to get off on the right foot.”
Larson Experienced Highs & Lows During the 2022 Season
As the reigning champion with 10 points-paying wins, Larson entered the 2022 season as a favorite to reach the championship four once again. However, he did not have a dominant season in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro.
There were certainly some bright spots for the California native. He won at Auto Club Speedway and finished second behind Alex Bowman the following week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, engine issues and a crash disrupted trips to Phoenix Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Larson consistently fought for top-10 and top-five finishes throughout the 2022 season, but he only won two more races. He captured the checkered flag at Watkins Glen International during the regular season and then he won the playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, he was already eliminated from championship contention by the time he headed to Florida.
Larson will now move forward into the 2023 Cup Series season with 36 more opportunities to win points-paying races — including 26 in the regular season. Larson does not know if he will add several more wins to his total, but he will continue to focus on building momentum early.
Larson Will Hit a Milestone During the 2023 Season
The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro will take on his ninth full Cup Series season in 2023, and he will continue to pursue more wins. He will also hit an important milestone early in his third season with Hendrick Motorsports.
Larson enters the 2023 season with 295 career Cup Series starts, the majority of which were with Chip Ganassi Racing. He will hit 300 when he heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Ambetter Health 400.
Larson may only have 295 career starts, but he has achieved a significant amount in his time in the Cup Series. He has 19 wins, which puts him in a tie with Greg Biffle, Davey Allison, Buddy Baker, and Fonty Flock. More importantly, Larson has a NASCAR Cup Series championship to his name.