Kyle Larson to stay with Hendrick at least two more years
The two year contract extension includes full sponsorship for the 5 car as well
Rick Hendrick had wanted young superstar driver Kyle Larson in one of his cars for years. The California native was consistently outdriving his Chip Ganassi Racing car, putting it in championship contention. But it would take a massive controversy on Larson's end - the use of a racial slur - to make Ganassi take his seat away. After a year of learning, as Larson called it, Mr. Hendrick swooped in with a second chance.
But not just any second chance. Not many second chances mean a seat in the flagship Hendrick 5 car, the number the team got their first win in. But not many return seasons go as well as Larson's has. With few sponsors initially willing to associate their names with Larson, the website of Hendrick's dealership empire - HendrickCars.com - adorned the car. And with his success, “He’s created total lead generation value of $1.8 million and over $5 million in television exposure" for the website, say the company. He's brought millions of clicks and the highest traffic to the site ever.
So, apart from a three-race deal next year with Valvoline, HendrickCars.com will continue to be the livery carried on Larson's Chevy Camaro. And Larson appreciates it. “I want to be at Hendrick for the rest of my career and if I can have this sponsorship attached to me, I think that goes a long way for my brand and my fanbase." He'd even like to consider a leadership role after his career, like Jeff Gordon. And the whole organization's happy too. Speaking to the AP, Hendrick said: “My dealerships, the general managers and the employees, they didn’t want anyone else on the car."