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Jeff Gordon: Kyle Larson is 'one of the greats'

Kyle Larson admits that he doesn't know much about the cars that he drives, but he continues to achieve success in multiple racing series while piling up wins.

Now, Jeff Gordon has explained why that lack of knowledge doesn't really matter.

"Because he drives the wheels off of it," Gordon said after Larson won Sunday's race at Sonoma. "I think if you're making lap time, making good decisions -- he was really good through making up positions on the restarts when he needed to.

"When those other guys came into pit and he's out there on a little bit older tires, maintaining lap times the way he was, those are just the things that great drivers do and do well, and he's one of the greats"

As Gordon explained, Larson knows how to extract speed out of the cars he drives, especially in the NASCAR Cup Series. Larson also knows how to relay information to crew chief Cliff Daniels about what he needs to make moves through the field. This feedback is an essential part of the crew chief-driver relationship.

Gordon, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, knows a thing or two about greatness. He won 93 races during his Cup career, the third-most all-time. Gordon won four championships while driving exclusively for Hendrick Motorsports. He set a record for the 36-race era by leading 2,320 laps during the 2001 season.

Gordon has also witnessed greatness on the Hendrick Motorsports campus. He was teammates with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and he works with the current lineup of HMS drivers regularly.

Larson's first season with HMS was in 2021, and it was certainly a historic campaign. He took over the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro and won 10 points-paying races, as well as the All-Star Race. He set a NASCAR record for the 36-race era by leading 2,581 laps, and he capped off the season by winning the championship.

Larson has since added another 10 wins to his resume while making the playoffs each season. His 20 wins with HMS are the most by any driver since the 2021 season.

Of course, the success is not solely in the Cup Series. Larson has won 15 Xfinity Series races, three Truck Series races, and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He's captured numerous checkered flags in dirt races across the country, and he won Rookie of the Year in this season's Indy 500.

Larson working his way back through the field to win Sunday at Sonoma was simply the latest example of his abilities.

"I'm glad I didn't have to race (Larson)," Gordon said after Larson won last season's playoff race at Las Vegas. "I got my butt kicked by one guy at Hendrick Motorsports that was my teammate. I didn't need to have two of 'em."