For the majority of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Larson has primarily used the HendrickCars.com paint scheme on the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro. Now he will debut a new look for two high-profile races. He will head to Michigan Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway with a star-spangled scheme advertising Cincinnati Inc.
Hendrick Motorsports unveiled the design on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The car features a primarily white body with red and blue stripes. Stars cover the blue portion of the doors and bumper to add some patriotic flair. To cap off the design, the rear fenders and bumper will be black with the Cincinnati Inc. and HendrickCars.com logos prominently displayed.
An Ohio-based company, Cincinnati Inc. provides equipment for NASCAR teams and key organizations in several industries. The company creates large-scale manufacturing tools. The list includes lasers, press brakes, shears, automation, powdered metal presses, and software.
“There’s been a recent made-in-America surge and discussion surrounding what that means, and it’s been wonderful to see,” said Matt Garbarino, director of product marketing at Cincinnati Inc., in a press release. “Here at CI, that’s been a foundational part of who we are since the 1890s. We’re beyond excited to watch what Kyle and the team at Hendrick Motorsports do with this special No. 5 car.”
Larson Will Push for the Regular-Season Championship With the New Look
When Larson first showcases the new design at Michigan, he will do so while fighting for the regular-season championship. He is currently in a tie for the top spot with winless Denny Hamlin, and he can secure the trophy and bonus playoff points by continuing to turn in strong performances.
The race at Michigan will provide Larson with his best opportunity to lock up the trophy. He has considerable success at the two-mile, d-shaped oval. Larson has made 12 starts at the track and posted three consecutive wins — one in 2016 and two in 2017 — and five top-five finishes. For comparison, Hamlin has 30 starts with two wins and nine top-five finishes.
“Cincinnati did a great job designing this paint scheme and incorporating the stars and stripes,” Larson added in the press release. “I can’t wait to drive it at Michigan – one of my favorite tracks. We use CI equipment at our shop and throughout Hendrick Motorsports, and their equipment is top-notch and dependable.”
Capturing the Championship Requires a Team Effort
Larson may be the one crossing the finish line and capturing the checkered flag, but he is not the sole person responsible for victory each week. His pit crew has been one of the best in the Cup Series, helping him take the lead during stops or fresh Goodyear tires and fuel.
The race at Watkins Glen on Aug. 8 was a fitting example. Larson entered pit road behind Martin Truex Jr. but the No. 5 team turned in a picture-perfect stop and helped him capture the lead as he exited. Larson did not relinquish en route to his fifth points-paying win of the season.
“I don’t think there was any pressure at all,” tire carrier RJ Barnette said, per the Hendrick Motorsports website. “I have been doing this for a long time, so I am kind of used to those situations. To be honest, that is the situation you want to be in. You want to come down second, you want to have the opportunity to prove your value, prove your worth, and help your driver and your team out.”
Larson’s pit crew has the fastest average four-tire pit top time at 13.66 seconds through 23 races. The team also posted the third-fastest four-tire pit stop, 12.12 seconds at Nashville Superspeedway, another race that Larson won. Now the crew will strive to continue this trend during the first-ever Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 15.