Kyle Larson is already looking forward to the 2051 NASCAR Champion’s Week.
In thirty years, Larson would be 59 years old, probably a grandfather and potentially a hall of famer. Larson may witness the Cup Series festivities as the future champion reads the message he wrote three decades earlier.
He hopes his words remain timeless.
Kyle Larson on Champion’s Journal: ‘It’s just going to get more special every year’
Starting the tradition in December 2011, Jimmie Johnson penned a note to the new champ, Tony Stewart, in a small brown leather book. Mike Helton, NASCAR’s vice chairman, requested the five-time defending champion to jot down a few thoughts for Stewart and supplied the little brown book.
Johnson immediately took to the new championship tradition, writing in the Champion’s Journal after capturing titles No. 6 in 2013 and No. 7 in 2016.
When the reigning champ joined the exclusive fraternity, his pledge was heart-felt.
“I can’t wait for the champ in 2050 or 2040 or whatever to get that and read what some of the greats have written like Tony and Jimmie,” Larson told nascar.com. “That’s gonna be a great honor for people to have it.
“It’s just going to get more special every year.”
Imagine the advice Richard Petty would have penned
Since the start of the Champion’s Journal, six other drivers, Brad Keselowski (2012), Kevin Harvick (2014), Kyle Busch (2015 and’ 19), Martin Truex Jr. (2017), Joey Logano (2018), and Chase Elliott (2020), have written their thoughts and passed on words of wisdom to future champs.
Larson regrets NASCAR didn’t start the drivers’ diary in its early days. He would have wanted to read what old-school drivers like Herb Thomas thought after capturing the titles in 1951 and ’53. He also would have been interested in what Richard Petty would have penned after this dominating the 1967 campaign.
Think Larson’s 10 points wins in 2021 were impressive?
In ’67, Petty compiled a record of 27 wins, earned 18 poles, and had a mind-boggling margin of victory (6,028).
Imagine how his message would resonate with modern drivers like Larson?
Imagine what Petty’s message would mean to the future champion in 2051?
Teammate Chase Elliott will anoint the little brown book over to Larson
Larson’s teammate, Elliott, plans on privately anointing the journal to him during Hendrick Motorsports’ holiday party later this month.
“I feel like it’s the best-kept secret in our sport,” Larson said. “… I’m just excited to see the things people say. I talked to Brad Keselowski about it (on Dec. 1), and he said he didn’t even remember what he wrote in it.
“It’ll just be neat to see the stories and see what they had to say.”
He hopes their messages will be timeless, too.