NASCAR: Kyle Larson named best driver

The 2022 ESPYS presented by Capital One celebrated the best athletes, teams and moments in the world of sports Wednesday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, with reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson among the big winners.

The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driver took home the honor of “Best Driver,” beating out fellow motorsports stars Max Verstappen (Formula One), Steve Torrence (NHRA) and Alex Palou (IndyCar).

Larson’s 2021 season was one for the ages, claiming a whopping 10 points-paying Cup Series victories — including the Championship 4 season finale at Phoenix Raceway to claim the title — as well as a win in the annual All-Star Race.

NASCAR Hall of Famers and fellow Hendrick alumni Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson each own four ESPY awards for the same distinction, with Larson’s victory being the 19th time a NASCAR driver took home the nod. Kyle Busch is the most recent NASCAR driver to win the award, claiming it in 2019. Kevin Harvick (2015) and Martin Truex Jr. (2018) are the only other active NASCAR drivers to have won an ESPY.