Kyle Larson ruffled the feathers of a few NASCAR drivers this past week by saying he thought he was "the last true racer left" in the sport.
Larson said there just aren't as many Cup Series drivers who compete in other types of racing in their spare time like he does.
"I would race every day of the week if I could. So, that’s why I feel like I’m the last true racer left," Larson said, in part due to the fact team owner Chip Ganassi will ony let him compete in 25 dirt races a year.
Larson's bold statement became a topic of debate among fans and reporters, leading Dale Earnhardt Jr. to share his opinion on the matter during his weekly podcast "Dirty Mo Radio" on Tuesday.
"I think what he is getting at is [his diversity in racing] — he would drive a Sprint Car, race the Indy 500, he would race the Pike's Peak Hill Climb, the Soap Box Derby, he would race dragsters if he could," Earnhardt explained. "You mentioned Kyle Busch — he races stock cars and trucks.
"I may have to agree with Kyle Larson that he is a true racer. Is he the last? I don't know, I don't think, I hope he's not the last. I think there will be guys like him down the pipe."
Earnhardt touched on Christopher Bell being another young driver who has a diverse racing background, but there is one major factor which separates the two — money.
"Larson is able to race all these different types of cars because he has the leverage to and the means — the sponsorship means or the financial means to," Earnhardt said. "I think there are a lot more true racers out there than Kyle [Larson] may think.
"Christopher Bell doesn't have the leverage or the financial means to be able to go do whatever he wants to do. But if he gets a lucrative opportunity financially in the Cup Series then he'll get that leverage an be able to take control and be able to run all types of stuff."
No driver has had higher praise for Larson and his breakout season than Earnhardt. NASCAR's most popular driver has even appointed the 24-year-old Larson as one of a few to carry the sport in his absence when he retires at season's end. Junior also thinks Larson will drive in the Indianapolis 500 within the next three to four years.