The last time I checked in here, I was five races into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, had just won my first Nationwide Series race, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and scored my first top-five finish in the Cup Series, also at Auto Club. After the Fontana weekend, I felt like the No. 42 Target team was really starting to work well together and helping to put me in a good position to get quality finishes. From the guys back at the shop who have been building good cars to the team at the track, we are continuing to improve and keep working hard to get a win in Cup. Although we don't have a win yet, we have had some great finishes over the past couple months, which has helped to keep us in a competitive spot in the points standings. I'm having a blast doing what I'm doing, and am really glad to have all the support from the team and our main partner, Target.
Over the past month I've done a lot of testing to help prepare me for tracks that I haven't had much or any experience on. It's kind of hard for everyone to be away so much, but our time testing has been paying off. Before heading to Pocono for the Cup race, our team tested there, and in my first race at the Tricky Triangle I was able to come away with a win in the ARCA series and a top-five finish in the Cup race. So, I guess the test and extra time on the track during the ARCA race paid off. The next challenge for me will be Sonoma, as I don't have much experience on road courses in the Cup car. I'm looking forward to that race since it's so close to where I grew up in Elk Grove, Calif. It will be really fun to be back close to home and get to see some friends and family.
Outside of all that's been going on at the track, things off the track for me have been pretty exciting lately. As I am sure a lot of NASCAR fans have heard, my girlfriend, Katelyn, and I just found out we are having a baby. I'm really excited and am looking forward to being a dad. My dad has taught me so much over the years, and still is, and I think it will be really cool to be able to do that with my kid. I don't have a lot of younger relatives and haven't been around too many babies, so I have a lot to learn, but I've already picked up a few books to study between now and December, when Katelyn is due. She does have younger relatives, so I know she'll be great since she seems to be a magnet for kids.
I also recently bought a house near the lake outside of Charlotte, N.C. After spending some time searching on Zillow.com, I was really happy to find out that the house I liked online also looked really nice in person. We plan to do some work to open the kitchen up a little bit, but fortunately the house doesn't need a lot of work before we move-in in a few months. It's not as big as it seems in the pictures you might have seen, but it has enough room for a nursery, and for family and friends to stay over when they come to visit. It also has enough room for a shuffleboard table, if I can find one I like. We think it'll be a really great place for what is soon to be all three of us.
Katelyn and I are both looking forward to moving somewhere that is a little quieter and more relaxed than where we live right now. We're probably the youngest couple that lives in the area, so I don't know if we'll get invited to too many cookouts with the neighbors, but I'm sure I'll have barbeques with friends when I have the chance. Katelyn also likes to garden, so she'll probably be out in the yard when the weather is nice. I may even mow the lawn every now and then. After living in a townhouse for a while, I actually kind of miss doing some outdoor chores, but we'll see how long it takes for the novelty of yard work to wear off.
With starting a family, and the racing going so well, I'm having the time of my life right now, and couldn't ask for much more. The next six months are going to be incredibly exciting as Katelyn and I wait for the baby to be born, we move in to our new house and I wrap up my rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series. On the track, the No. 42 Target team is going to keep working hard to get a win and make The Chase, and I still have my sights set on winning Rookie of the Year. I think we can accomplish our goals, but check back in later to see how things are going.
Editor's note: Kyle Larson, 21, of Elk Grove, Calif., is in his first full-season season racing for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS. Larson has been racing since he was 7 years old, but he has only been racing stock cars for three years.
He was the 2012 K&N Pro Series East champion, as well as the series' Rookie of the Year. In 2013, while racing with Turner Scott Motorsports, Larson captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors. Larson is also racing for TSM this season in the Nationwide Series, driving the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet Camaro. He resides in Huntersville, N.C.
Follow his 2014 season here on autoweek.com and on T
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