Californian Kyle Larson, 21, to make NASCAR Cup debut Oct. 12

Kyle Larson, the 21-year-old racing prodigy from Elk Grove, Calif., will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut Oct. 12.

Larson will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet in the night race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, then also compete in the Oct. 27 race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The races are intended to give Larson a taste of NASCAR's premier series in advance of next year, when Larson will drive the No. 42 Chevy full time for the team Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

The team announced in August that Larson would take over the car in 2014 in place of veteran Juan Pablo Montoya, who was not re-signed.

"I am very excited to get behind the wheel of a Cup car in Charlotte," Larson said in a statement. "I have a lot of work to do to prepare for the 2014 season and I cannot wait to get started."

Larson, a Japanese American, currently is in his rookie year in NASCAR's second-level Nationwide Series. He has yet to win but has 15 top-10 finishes in 28 Nationwide races so far this season.

It's only his second year driving stock cars, and before that Larson excelled at racing midget cars, sprints and other open-wheel cars on dirt and paved tracks.


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