NASCAR Insider Slams Kyle Larson’s “Ultimate Selfish Act” After Hendrick Motorsports Huge Spending

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BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – AUGUST 07: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to a weather delayed restart of the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 07, 2023 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
At the climactic Phoenix race, Kyle Larson and the pit crew worked like a well-oiled machine, swiftly getting car #5 back on the track. For a moment they made it seem like Larson had the 2023 Cup title in the bag. However, it turned out to be a false dawn. Even Larson’s crew chief, Cliff Daniels, conceded that they didn’t have a winning car that day. Yet, brushing off these disappointments, Larson has now pivoted his attention to the off-season, immersing himself in dirt track racing and his High Limit Racing Series.
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The change of course, however, hasn’t been music to everyone’s ears. Notably, Doug Rice of PRN and SiriusXM, a titan in the world of racing radio, expressed his discontent in a recent discussion with co-host Alexis, and Brad Gillie. Rice voiced his concern about NASCAR drivers spreading their wings into other racing series, especially in light of the mishap that befell Alex Bowman earlier in the season.
Doug Rice criticizes the risky off-season racing ventures of Kyle Larson, citing Alex Bowman’s injury as a cautionary tale
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Recently, Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet announced an expansion for their 2022-founded High Limit Racing, increasing its schedule to over 50 race nights and upping the prize money to a whopping $5 million for the season. Although Larson might not participate in other series like the Chili Bowl Nationals, he’s set to be a fixture in his own sprint car series.
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This decision, however, hasn’t sat well with racing radio icon Doug Rice. He argues that with Hendrick Motorsports investing heavily in drivers like Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman, it’s unwise for them to venture into other racing series. Rice’s concern stems from Bowman’s injury earlier in the season while racing in a different series. He believes that NASCAR Cup teams should consider restricting their drivers from participating in non-NASCAR events.
Rice didn’t mince words, stating, “These guys going out and playing in these other cars during the off season. If I’m Rick Hendrick, and I will tell Kyle Larson there- we invest millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of work hours in you.[…] If you’re going out and it’s so important you to race on Thursday night, in some sprint car deal going to pay $1,000, to me, this is just Doug Rice’s opinion, that is the absolute ultimate selfish act. I like what I’m doing so much more than and I valued the value of this team. But I’m going to put myself at risk on Thursday night.”
However, Rice’s co-host, Brad Gillie, offered a different perspective, advocating for drivers’ freedom to engage in activities they enjoy, to avoid burnout before the season starts.
Brad Gillie champions the idea of drivers having the freedom to race in other Series
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Amidst the debate on whether NASCAR teams should restrict their drivers from participating in other series, co-hosts Alexis and Brad Gillie clashed with Doug Rice’s conservative stance. Brad Gillie argued that it’s unrealistic to expect racers to pass up every chance to compete, citing Kyle Larson’s exceptional success as a testament to the benefits of racing in various series.
Alexis chimed in, emphasizing that diversifying race participation can attract new fans who might not typically follow NASCAR but could become interested if they see these drivers at local tracks throughout the year.
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Gillie elaborated, “Let them go do their thing… […] You know, you go back and look at Kyle Bush his most prolific years in the Cup Series, were the years that he was running as many truck and xfinity races as he could. And there are people who will say, and Kyle Busch used to say it himself- This keeps me fresh. This is my practice. This is what keeps me at the top of my game. And with a lack of seat time now that they have in a race car because they don’t really have practice anymore 20-minute sessions. Maybe a longer one for a couple of races a year. This gives them seat time.”
So, where do you stand in this debate: with Doug Rice’s cautionary view or Brad Gillie’s endorsement of racing diversity? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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