The 2022 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards presented by Capital One recently celebrated athletes, teams, and moments in the world of sports. Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson received the honor of “Best Driver,” beating out Max Verstappen (Formula One), Steve Torrence (NHRA), and Alex Palou (IndyCar).
The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet claimed 10-points-paying Cup Series victories in 2021—including the Championship 4 season finale at Phoenix Raceway to claim the title and 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.