Additionally, Larson was a member of the 2012 “NASCAR Next” class, an initiative designed to identify the sport’s next generation of stars.
“Kyle’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award marks a historic moment for NASCAR and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We couldn’t be happier for Kyle and with the progress we have made in increasing minority and female on-track participation in the sport.”
Larson captured the rookie honors by 82 points over runner-up Alex Bowman.
Larson, from Elk Grove, Calif., finished second four times (Bristol-1, Michigan, Dover-2 and Homestead) this season and overall compiled nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
He made headlines in April, winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway to become the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program to win a NASCAR national series race.
Larson will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014, driving the No. 42 Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information, visit www.nascar.com and follow NASCAR at www.facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.