NASCAR: Kyle Larson Sets Up Split Title Scenario After Win at Homestead-Miami Speedway

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After winning the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kyle Larson has set up a split title scenario for the NASCAR Playoffs. In other words, the driver’s champion could be different from the owner’s champion. Larson is not in the driver’s championship after being eliminated after the Roval, however, he just punched Hendrick Motorsports’ ticket into the Championship 4.

Last season, Larson was able to claim the driver’s title for himself and claim the team title for Hendrick Motorsports. If the No. 5 ends up taking the win at Phoenix, then things get really interesting. It’s something that Larson has his eyes on now that he’s secured a spot for Hendrick in Phoenix.

“I view myself as … if I say we were to win Phoenix, like my name isn’t going to be on the championship, but having our team be the champion I think is honestly better than … like I would hate to be in Ryan Blaney’s position. I think he’s the one that’s only in on driver, not owner,” he explained. It does present some issues. “I would hate to be in his position, and say he wins the championship and he is credited with a championship but not his team. If I was to have it one way or the other, I would rather be out on my end and be able to celebrate the team championship.”

Larson knows that a split title in NASCAR is rare and that it would mean a lot for his team. It comes with a few dollars, not just the trophy.

“I’m happy that we get to go compete for that again, and honestly that’s the paycheck, too. We’re going to go for that, and we’re fired up about it.”

NASCAR Split Title Is Rare

In terms of rarity, a split title is about as rare as it gets in NASCAR. When you talk about the modern era versus the pioneer era or whatever you want to call it, it hasn’t happened – ever. Only in 1954 and 1963 has there ever been a split title, according to Nate Ryan.

That first split title was won by none other than Lee Petty. He drove for two teams that season and Herb Thomas was the winner in the owner’s championship. Then, it was Joe Weatherly who did it the second time. A journeyman driver, Weatherly drove for nine teams that season, and Wood Brothers Racing ended up taking the owner’s title.

So, Kyle Larson will try to change that. If he races like he did on Sunday at Homestead-Miami, it won’t even be close. Larson dominated the Dixie Vodka 400 from start to finish. Don’t let the No. 5 team get hot, they could snag a title away from an owner.