NorCal Racing

Kyle Larson eyes championship step in 2018

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RELATED: Larson’s 2017 season recap | Larson’s rise through the NASCAR ranks

Being perpetually optimistic is a trait that has served Kyle Larson well.

The fourth-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver is coming off the most successful season of his career – and although an engine issue stunningly cost his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team a shot at the 2017 title, Larson remained all smiles and high hopes circulating at the annual year-ending banquet in Las Vegas early this month.

“It was definitely a terrific year for us,” the 25-year old California said with a grin. “I look back and four wins in the Cup series. … It was a really good year and it was a breakout season for us and our race team.

“We went from being kind of an underdog team to favorites early in the year and that was cool to be a part of.”

RELATED: See Larson’s career stats

Larson had career highs in pole positions (three), top-10s (20), top-fives (15) and most importantly, victories with four. And he firmly established himself a…

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