Chip Ganassi, owner of Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, met with media on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway to announce that Kyle Larson will drive the #42 Target Chevrolet in 2014.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome and thank you all for being here. I'm John Olguin, head of communications at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. We're excited to be here today to introduce the 2014 driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet. We think it's a great day for not only our team but for our 24-year partner with Target and also for the sport.
This driver currently sits eighth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with 13 top-tens and six top-fives in 23 starts. He's started twice in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he won at Rockingham and finished second at Eldora.
He is a two-time SPEED performer nominee both in 2011 and 2012. He is the 2012 NASCAR K&N Series champion and Rookie of the Year. He's a graduate of the NASCAR Driver For Diversity Program and their Next Program as well.
We're pleased to announce the 2014 driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet is Kyle Larson.
Obviously we have here with us Chip Ganassi and Kyle. Let me start with you, Chip. Give me your thoughts on this announcement.
I have some prepared comments here, ladies and gentlemen.
Certainly we believe that Kyle is the future of the sport. He's a unique talent. Let me be very clear, this was a racing decision. We felt that Kyle was the best short-term and long-term fit for the team and for Target.
While our team has been partnered with Target for 24 years, when we decided to make the change, we wanted to make sure we found the right driver, someone that would represent their brand as well as have a chance to win races.
Kyle was our first choice. We did not offer any deals to any other drivers. We talked to other drivers. We're thrilled to have Kyle. Nothing he has done makes us feel he cannot move to the Sprint Cup Series. As I said, we spoke to a number of current Cup drivers. At the end of the day we felt that Kyle was the best option for our organization.
We do feel that we need to continue Kyle Larson's growth, and putting him in a Cup car was the very next step. We're sure there will be some growing pains but we're sure he's ready. Some of those growing pains will come whatever his first year in the series is. It's a good opportunity.